As the NBA continues to negotiate its next media rights deal, it’s not a question if streaming will be a part of the league’s new package, but rather, in what form.
And when it comes Amazon’s bid to get a piece of the pie, the company is aiming high.
“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 John Ourand and Andrew Marchand on an upcoming episode of their podcast, which will post on Nov. 22.
Considering that a streaming service — Amazon’s Prime Video or otherwise — is expected to receive some sort of package of national games as a part of the NBA’s next media rights deal, which will go into effect for the 2024-25 season, the idea of streaming select playoff games certainly makes sense. In January, NBC’s Peacock will host the NFL’s first-ever streaming exclusive playoff game in the league’s Wild Card Round.
While the NBA is currently in an exclusive negotiating window with its current partners ESPN and Turner, the league has been open about its willingness — if not desire — to get the streaming services involved. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the league was weighing its streaming options with ESPN and Turner expected to pursue smaller packages than they current possess.
In addition to Amazon, the NBA is expected to have interest from streaming services including Apple, Google, NBC and Netflix.
“What fits is that it is one of the biggest leagues in the world and people care about it,” Marine told Ourand and Marchand. “At the end of the day, do Prime members care about it? Is it important to their life? And as a result, can it be meaningful in terms of the value it adds to Prime members and the Prime program? And I think with the NBA, it is true on all of those fronts.”