business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Los Angeles Times reports that Amazon will get exclusive rights to a playoff game during the 2024-25 National Football League (NFL) season.

The story notes that "NBC carried a wild-card game on its Peacock service on Jan. 13, delivering what it called the largest live streaming audience in history with an average audience of 23 million viewers. It’s likely the game, a Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Miami Dolphins with pop superstar Taylor Swift cheering them on, helped Peacock add substantially to the 30 million subscriber total it has reported to Wall Street analysts."

Amazon has just completed the second season in an 11-season contract with the NFL for Thursday Night Football, and it was able to supplant other streaming services "due to a performance clause in its exclusive deal."  During the just-completed season, Amazon "saw a 24% increase in audience compared with the prior year, averaging nearly 12 million viewers according to Nielsen data. The streamed games reach a substantially younger audience than the ones airing on traditional television."

Which means that Amazon will have yet another tool to bring people into its Prime ecosystem, which is a powerful competitive weapon.

It also takes us closer to a time when streaming services - Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, etc… - may dominate the playoff scene, especially because they'll have more resources with which to bid for these rights.


•  Reuters reports that Amazon founder/chairman Jeff Bezos "sold around 12 million shares of the online retail and cloud services firm for roughly $2 billion, according to a company filing on Friday, soon after laying out a plan to sell his shares over the next year."

And Business Insider writes: "A sharp rise in Amazon's stock this year has led to a $22.6 billion rise in the company's founder and executive chairman's estimated wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The surge has propelled Bezos into second place on the world's richest people list, with a net worth of $200 billion at the time of publication.

"While the exact motive behind Bezos' decision to offload shares is unknown, the massive sale does shrink the gap between his and Elon Musk's net worth, positioning Bezos to overtake the Tesla CEO in the rankings of the world's richest people."

I'm just going to say it:  Any adult human being who spends time worrying about becoming the world's richest person lacks in maturity, perspective, and values.  It is not what you have, but what you do with it.  It is not just how you make your own life better, but how you make other people's lives better.  (Ask Mackenzie Bezos, who since her divorce keeps selling off Amazon stock and giving the profits away.  Her biggest challenge has been trimming her net worth - she keeps giving money away, but Amazon's value keeps growing.)