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Report: Apple Hires Former Amazon Head of Sports to Run Sports Programming for Apple TV Plus

Stephanie Sengwe

It’s no secret that live sports programming are a huge component in many streaming bundles, and it looks like Apple TV+ is potentially looking to enter that lane. According to a tweet by Recode Media’s Peter Kafka, the streaming service has snagged former Amazon Prime Video head of sports Jim DeLorenzo for their own platform.

Over the last few years, Amazon has made some headway with various sporting leagues under DeLorenzo’s leadership. Just yesterday, the e-commerce giant revealed they snagged rights to livestream four English Premier League for free in the UK when the season resumes later this month. The company is making the games available to everyone, so fans don’t need to be Prime Video members in order to watch.

Last week, news also came out that Prime Video will livestream the Schroders Battle of the Brits — a six-day tennis tournament taking place from June 23 to 28 at the Lawn Tennis Association’s headquarters at Roehampton, England.

On American turf, Prime Video has been equally dominant. The streaming giant recently renewed their deal with the NFL and will stream a dozen NFL games worldwide for the next three seasons (through 2022) on Prime Video and Twitch.

Earlier this year, the streamer announced they were partnering with The New York Yankees and YES Network to livestream 21 Yankees games during the 2020 regular season on Prime Video at no additional cost to Prime members. (The season was, of course, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Once the season resumes, Prime members in New York state, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania and north and central New Jersey areas will get access to all 21 Yankees games on Prime Video. These will be simulcasts of games produced by YES for airing on PIX11 and other over-the-air partners for Yankees telecasts, according to the YES Network.

It’s unclear whether Apple is looking to make an official bid in the live sports world or if they will be looking into licensing programs. However, Apple TV+’s main focus will continue to be on original content as “the executives in charge of the service aren’t going after any big franchises,” FierceVideo reports.

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