Saturday December 9, 2023

Amazon Wants Playoff Games As Part Of Potential NBA Deal

  • The NBA is set to explore its options for new media rights partners.
  • Amazon is interested in acquiring a package of games to exclusively stream.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Amazon is gearing up for what could be its biggest sports media week of the year with Prime Video’s exclusive, free stream of the first-ever NFL Black Friday game — but another league is on its radar, too.

As almost every major media company explores potential bids for the NBA’s next set of media rights deals, Amazon isn’t being shy about its interest and exactly what it wants: postseason games. “Would something like the playoffs be an important part of [our bid]? Yes, I think that’s fair to say,” Amazon Global Head of Sports Jay Marine told Sports Business Journal.

Sources previously told Front Office Sports that Amazon was eying a specific package of NBA regular-season games on either Tuesday or Thursday nights. The idea was to mimic the success it has had with “Thursday Night Football” — which has seen big viewership increases in its second season.

But adding playoff games would be a new evolution for Amazon’s sports efforts. While the NFL plans to stream a wild-card game exclusively on Peacock in January, Amazon doesn’t have any postseason rights. It is, however, among the companies interested in acquiring some College Football Playoff rights.

Not So Fast

Another streamer being discussed as a potential NBA rights bidder may not be as interested as previously thought.

Last week, a report linked Netflix as a suitor for the rights to the NBA In-Season Tournament, which will likely be sold as its own package. But now, Bloomberg reports that while Netflix remains intrigued with filming an NBA-related docuseries, the company says it isn’t interested in live game rights.

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