With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• From CNBC:
"Regional sports programmer Diamond Sports Group said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement with a group of creditors to emerge out of bankruptcy and that it would also get funding from Amazon as part of a streaming deal … The company also said Amazon’s Prime Video will now become the primary partner through which customers can buy direct-to-consumer access to stream local channels of Diamond, which carries the games of more than 40 major sports teams across the U.S.
"That would allow Prime Video viewers access to content including live MLB, NBA and NHL games, and pre- and post-game programming for the teams for which Diamond has DTC rights."
I refer you to yesterday's FaceTime, in which I talked about precisely this movement. Whether it is spending big bucks for major sports and events, or picking up distressed assets that it can use to build a significant schedule of proprietary sports and unique events,Amazon is developing an extensive private label-style portfolio for Prime Video.
• From the Hollywood Reporter:
"Amazon MGM Studios is getting spiritual.
"The company announced Wednesday that it’s brokered a partnership with the recently formed Wonder Project, which bills itself as an independent studio designed to 'develop series and films rooted in spirituality" … As part of the new pact, Prime Video has already ordered its first project, 'House of David,' to series."
The Amazon logline reads as follows: "'House of David' follows the once-mighty King Saul as he falls victim to his own pride. A prophet prepares to overthrow him — anointing the outcast shepherd boy David as a second king. As Saul’s fury grows, David navigates love, violence and politics in the court of the very man he’s destined to replace. Two kings. One Kingdom. The outcome is war."
This is sort of the reverse of Jesus casting the moneychangers from the temple - it is the moneychangers welcoming the clerics into the bank, with both hoping that faith-based programming will grow Amazon's video footprint, and that Amazon can be helpful in going forward and "making disciples of all nations." Give me that old-time religion…