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How Amazon Prime Video Is Increasing its Live Sports Offerings

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Amazon Prime has over a 100 million subscribers

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos said in an annual letter to shareholders on April 18 that the e-commerce giant has over 100 million Prime subscribers. Prime subscriptions, which cost $99 in the United States, gives subscribers several perks, including free, two-day delivery, access to its video and music streaming services, and exclusive offers on certain items.

Amazon has been pushing hard to improve its video streaming service, adding original content and an array of third-party content. The service competes with market leader Netflix (NFLX).

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Amazon buys rights to broadcast the US Open

On April 19, Amazon bought five-year exclusive rights to broadcast the US Open, the major tennis tournament, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, through Amazon Prime Video. In the United States, Disney’s (DIS) ESPN will continue to broadcast the tournament. Amazon’s purchase may be part of the company’s broader move to ramp up its content and live sports streaming offerings.

Earlier this year, the company launched UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) pay-per-view events in the United States. Other live sports offerings on Amazon Prime Video include the Next Gen ATP finals and AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. In 2017, the company had global live streaming rights to the NFL’s (National Football League) Thursday Night Football, in an 11-game package.

Amazon’s US Prime members can watch sports by subscribing to add-on services such as CBS All Access and Sports Illustrated TV. Live sports streaming is one reason many US households have stuck with traditional TV. However, with live content slowly moving to online streaming companies, cord-cutting is likely to remain a trend.

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