Amazon has made its biggest and boldest move into live sports broadcasting by joining the bidding for all of the 22 Regional Sports Networks that Disney acquired from 21st Century Fox but has been forced by regulators to sell off in order to complete a $71bn (€62bn) asset takeover.
The e-commerce giant already has a foothold in sports streaming via Amazon Prime Video, having acquired rights to NFL Thursday Night Football in the United States, and the Premier League and US Open tennis in the United Kingdom.
According to a CNBC report, Amazon faces competition from private equity firms Apollo Global Management, KKR and Blackstone Group, and broadcast-TV companies Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tegna for the RSNs, which are worth an estimated $20bn.
Disney could sell the 22 RSNs piecemeal, with additional bidders for specific networks expected. The New York Yankees are looking to buy back the YES Network, which carries Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games.
According to CNBC, another round of bids is expected by the end of the year, with Fox poised to enter the fray.