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Why Amazon is Ready to Spend Billions on Live Sports in the Streaming Age

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Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research where Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into why Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) reportedly bid billions of dollars for 21st Century Fox’s (FOX - Free Report) regional sports networks. The episode then moves onto a streaming sports mishap over the long holiday weekend that could be a sign that the next wave of live sports entertainment isn’t ready just yet.

Amazon bid last week for Fox’s 22 regional sports networks, which includes New York-based YES Network, according to multiple reports. These assets were deemed so important that Disney (DIS - Free Report) was forced to divest the RSNs as part of its $71.3 billion deal to purchase key Fox entertainment assets. The 22 RSNs are said to be worth as much as $25 billion, though it is unclear what they will actually fetch on the open market since Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) helped drive up the overall price Disney paid. 

To date, Amazon’s largest-ever purchase was the $14 billion it spent on Whole Foods. So clearly it seems that Jeff Bezos feels that live sports could end up being as important to Amazon’s future as groceries. In the end, the move sets up Amazon to stand out in the current streaming landscape against Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Hulu, and other slimmed-down streaming TV offerings.

Looking ahead, Amazon’s move would also likely set up the e-commerce giant to challenge Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Google (GOOGL - Free Report) , and eventually Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and AT&T (T - Free Report) in the ever-growing streaming entertainment world.

The episode then jumps into the major streaming sports snafu that happened during the much-hyped pay-per-view coverage of the golf matchup between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Turner, Bleacher Report Live, and others likely ended up losing money on the event after months of promos and an HBO 24/7 show.

As a reminder, if you feel that we missed something, or if you have any topic suggestions, shoot us an email at podcast@zacks.com. Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at zacks.com/podcasts, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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