Is Amazon Prime Getting Set To Bid For AFL Rights?
The streaming industry in Australia is undergoing a major transition as local players struggle to hold onto content as foreign players enter the market, at the same time sports codes are talking to new players who are set to take a tilt at rights when they next come up for review, the big one being AFL.
In June CBS Viacom, the owners of Channel Ten are set to launch their Paramount Plus service in Australia up against Stan Binge, Foxtel and Disney and Netflix.
We have also been told that US retail heavyweight Amazon the owners of Prime Plus are also exploring a tilt at securing AFL games a move that could hurt Foxtel.
Stan owned by Nine Entertainment believe that the combination of Stan and the Nine Network puts them in a strong position to also pitch for AFL rights currently the network has the rights to the NFL.
Last week the network appointed Mike Sneesby the current CEO of Stan to run the entire Nine Network spanning both print and broadcast TV.
Over the weekend it was also revealed that Amazon Prime has offered over $US1 Billion to the US National Football League to carry many games exclusively on their Amazon Prime network, the deal is tipped to be for 11 years.
New agreements could be in place as early as next week the Wall Street Journal claimed.
In Australia Amazon is growing due in part to a major shift to online during COVID-19 and investment in AFL Sports rights will give them access to a large audience to promote their online operations.
Their US deal with Amazon would also result in a significant number of key Thursday night football games being shown exclusively on its Prime Video platform and represent the league’s deepest foray into streaming, observers claim.
In Australia Amazon Prime would need to partner or share with a local TV network to get a deal over the line.
In local moves Foxtel has decided to make some women’s AFL and cricket matches free for non-subscribers of streaming service Kayo Sports in an effort to meet its obligations under $40 million of government funding.
We also understand that the network is looking to drop coverage of soccer in Australia a move that could result in unknown Sports Flick bidding for the rights.
The Sports Flick business is entirely self-funded with management claiming that soccer which is attracting poor audiences at Foxtel set to be a key target as The Australian Football Federation enter negotiations with networks.
The network currently has the exclusive rights for the UEFA Champions League, submitting a bid of approximately $60 million over three years, according to sources.