Amazon is one of the winners of the Corona crisis – as if the online mail order company wasn’t moving into unimaginable business spheres anyway. But that’s not all: with Amazon Prime Video Live, the shopping market leader is now entering the realm of TV.
Big, bigger, Amazon. The online shopping giant is putting out feelers in the direction of television. According to current reports, Amazon’s personal shopping cart has contained a license application for a live broadcasting station since the end of November 2020.
The official application was received by the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting (BLM) – Amazon Digital Germany GmbH is based in Munich. The Commission for Determining Concentration in the Media Sector (KEK) confirmed the application to Media.
With the broadcasting license it has applied for, Amazon is preparing a new linear TV program to be called “Amazon Prime Video Live”. This could enable the U.S. company to expand its entertainment offering and further open the door to live television.
So far, Amazon offers its own streaming service with Prime Video and offers Prime customers the live stream of selected German broadcasters.
Will Amazon show live soccer matches with Prime Video?
It is not yet known what Amazon wants to achieve with Prime Video Live. Basically, it can be assumed that fresh information will only follow after the application has been approved. This could come soon, as the next meeting of the Media Council is scheduled for February 11, 2021.
The rumor mill is primarily bubbling with thoughts about live sports. That would fit in with the Champions League rights that Amazon secured in 2019.
“We are looking forward to the UEFA Champions League, one of the most prestigious club competitions in the world,” the managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, Alex Green, had commented at the time. “We are thrilled to be able to show our customers in Germany the top matches on Tuesday from 2021.”
Amazon also had a taste of the Bundesliga last year when it snagged individual broadcast rights from the DFL to show soccer matches. Looking even further back, Amazon has been looking into the world of live sports with increased interest since 2017.
The sports portfolio also includes audio offerings for the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and Champions League matches with German participation. The content is available via Amazon Music.
Competition for the lucrative live sports rights is fierce. Most recently, Sky came off as the clear loser when DAZN and Amazon stretched the broadcast go-ahead for the 2021/2022 Champions League season skyward like a trophy.
The bureaucracy behind the broadcasting license
In Germany, it is only possible to operate a broadcasting station with the appropriate license, and regulation is usually the responsibility of the state media authorities.
This sounds more dusty than it actually is. The rapid development of the streaming sector poses new challenges to classic formats and regulations and broadens the understanding of broadcasting in general.
An important criterion for classifying Internet offerings as subject to licensing is what is known as journalistic-editorial preparation. Let’s stay with sports: The images shown alone do not fall into this category, but even an accompanying commentary adds to the journalistic-editorial aspect.
Is Amazon’s license application just a precautionary measure to directly rule out potential legal risks? Or is Amazon Prime Video Live possibly intended to run on regular TV channels? We are literally staying on the ball.