Yahoo Finance reporter Josh Schafer discusses his conversation with Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt about the first Thursday Night Football game to be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and what it could mean for the future of sports streaming.
DAVE BRIGGS: A new era begins in just a couple of hours, the first regular season streaming game on Amazon Prime-- Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs taking on Justin Herbert and the Chargers. What does this moment mean for Amazon, for streaming, and for the NFL? Let's discuss with Josh Schafer who spoke with the Chiefs chairman and CEO, Clark Hunt, who had some interesting takeaways, Josh.
JOSH SCHAFER: He definitely did, Dave. So Clark Hunt and his family have owned the Chiefs for more than 60 years and have kind of seen a lot of iterations of the NFL. And this feels like another one of those moments for the league.
Hunt tells me Amazon's move into the NFL portends the future of sports broadcasting. He expects streaming to play a bigger role in many of America's sports leagues. But when it comes to the NFL, streaming could be a key to unlocking the next stage of growth. Let's take a listen.
CLARK HUNT: Long-term streaming will be available not only in the United States, but on an international basis. So if you have fans in Europe, or in South America, or Asia, they're going to be able to w-- watch the games much more easily than they have in the past. Uh, so it's really a frontier that we're very focused on.
JOSH SCHAFER: It's a really interesting tie-in for the NFL with Amazon-- Amazon, of course, with about 200 million subscribers to Amazon Prime worldwide. And then you consider what the NFL's trying to do with five international games this year. We know they've constantly wanted to get more international beyond those London games.
They're in Germany this year. Can they break into the Asia market and get some of that worldwide share that you see soccer and other sports like the NBA have? I think that will be an interesting takeaway from Amazon and what they could bring to the NFL.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: And it's interesting. You wonder if it makes it more accessible on streaming. You could just sort of have it in your pocket. What that means-- if you want to go to a sports bar and watch a game, it's-- like, the TV is getting-- everything is getting smaller.
But, I mean, when you look at Amazon-- obviously an interesting one. Because they're actually one of the streaming companies along with Apple that paused on having LIV Golf being carried-- the Saudi-backed golf league there. And also traditional broadcasters, according to the "Wall Street Journal"-- ESPN, CBS, NBC, FOX.
Now I understand why some of the major networks passed because some of them have deals with rival-- the PGA. But why do you think Apple and Amazon are not keen on this either?
JOSH SCHAFER: Right, Rachelle. So you just hit on the broadcasting companies, right. We know NBC, ESPN, and CBS all have relationships with the PGA Tour. So they were kind of out to begin with. Apple and Amazon were the streamers here that maybe tech companies-- maybe they can get involved a little bit. But I just don't think it's the play for them. Apple and Amazon-- their sports media structure right now is not built on making risky moves.
Amazon is getting in the NFL. That's a sure thing. Apple is getting into the MLS. Not a ton of people--
DAVE BRIGGS: Which is a--
CLARK HUNT: --are gonna--
DAVE BRIGGS: --small audience.
JOSH SCHAFER: It's a small audience. So it's not a huge play. This is a risky PR move, that why would a major tech company like Apple and Amazon make?
And one more thing on this, Dave, that I will add from when I talked to Atul Khosla, the CEO of LIV Golf, in July. I asked him specifically about what the business model is here, and he said to me, we're not reinventing the sports P&L. We need a sports media deal. Well, who's-- who's going to provide it now?
DAVE BRIGGS: In particular, when you see the streaming numbers, there's not enough bang for your buck to take on that bad PR. With the MLS, it's all upside. I agree with you. I think they'll wind up on a [INAUDIBLE] like [? Outlet. ?] Josh Schafer, good stuff. Thank you.