An industry insider told the publication that Amazon has been "actively pursuing" licenses for live and linear programming. The retail giant has already strayed from on-demand content by broadcasting Premier League football, NFL Thursday Night Football and US Open tennis. Earlier this year, ABC News Live content also became available on Amazon’s free news app on Fire TV streamers and Fire tablets in the US.
Amazon could be not only expanding its live sports coverage but also adding new channels for news, movies and TV shows. One job advert reads: "We are seeking an experienced Product Manager for the Prime Video Linear TV team to redefine how customers watch 24/7 linear broadcast TV content. Linear TV enables customers to watch 24/7 streams of their favorite TV stations airing programs including sports, news, movies, award shows, special events and TV shows."
Another states that "we in Prime Video Catalog are building next gen linear catalog systems to provide best-in-class Linear TV experience to Prime Video customers. It is Day 1 for the linear TV experience on Prime Video".
A rich live TV offering would distinguish Amazon from its Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+ rivals, and could mirror the feeds on the likes of The Roku Channel and Pluto TV.
Competing with existing pay TV services would undoubtedly be a challenge.Google already offers broadcasts through YouTube TV, of course, and Hulu has also dipped its toes into the linear TV arena with a service. Sony's PlayStation Vue, which arrived in as one of the first internet-based live TV streaming services, shut down in January, citing the nature of the "highly competitive pay TV industry".
But with Amazon's resources in mind, we wouldn't be surprised if the company's ambitions in the broadcast TV market were sky-high. “You should assume they’re talking to everybody,” the insider reportedly told Protocol.
Amazon declined to comment.