MSG+ app arrives on Fire TV devices with live regional sports

Sports fans in the New York metropolitan area will be happy to learn that the MSG+ app has arrived on Fire TV devices. The app allows streaming of live games from the NY Knicks, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, NJ Devils, and Buffalo Sabres. It also provides a library of on-demand original content, team stats, and more. Unfortunately, the app appears to only be compatible with Fire TV devices running Fire OS 7 and 8. That means that Fire TV models released before 2019 aren’t able to install the app.

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Amazon is reportedly considering a standalone Sports app

Amazon is thinking about pulling all of its sports content into a new dedicated sports app, according to a new report from The Information. Amazon’s live sports programming, which includes NFL Thursday Night Football, Premier League Soccer, and New York Yankees Baseball, to name a few, are streamed through the Prime Video app and are free to watch for Prime members. A dedicated sports app could help to declutter the Prime Video app but also allow Amazon to charge extra for its costly live sports programming. Read more ›

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Amazon and NBC Sports to launch new live sports hub on Fire TV for the Olympics

Amazon has announced a new hub for live sports coming to the Fire TV home screen. While it’s technically for “sports biggest stage,” this is clearly meant to be for the Olympics, since it goes live July 22, a day before the Summer Olympics start, and will be available for 17 days. The hub is intended to make it simpler to access live streaming sporting events as well as on-demand replays. Read more ›

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Super Bowl 2021 will not stream in 4K or HDR

CBS has confirmed to The Verge that Super Bowl LV this year will not be available in 4K or in HDR, due to limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s broadcast by FOX was the first time the Super Bowl was available in 4K and HDR, however, that broadcast was actually shot at 1080p and upscaled to 4K. CBS says they’re focusing, instead, on making the stream reliable and low-latency. Super Bowl LV will be on February 7th.

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Amazon Fire TV gains a new dedicated Sports hub

Amazon has added a new Sports section to Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions for live sports, documentaries, sports commentary, and more. Unlike the recently added Live and Free sections found in the navigation menu, the new Sports section is accessed through an icon in your list of apps and channels. This sports hub serves as an aggregator to pull in and display sports content from your various apps and services in one location for easier browsing. Read more ›

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NFL Thursday Night Football will stream on Prime Video and Twitch for Free

Amazon will once again be streaming Thursday Night Football for free this year. The coverage will kick off this Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears. The full schedule, found here, includes 11 games and culminates in the Christmas Day game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints, which actually lands on a Friday. In addition to streaming on Prime Video, Amazon will also stream the games for free on Twitch. Amazon will be using their X-Ray feature on Fire TVs and mobile devices to provide real-time stats, insights, and, new for this year, is the ability to call up replays on-demand to re-watch top plays. This is the 4th season of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Amazon has extended their deal with the NFL for 3 more years, through 2022.

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Amazon is bidding to buy Fox’s 22 regional sports networks

Amazon is among several other organizations that are bidding to acquire all 22 of Disney’s regional sports networks, which were formally owned by Fox, according to CNBC. Disney, who already owns ESPN, is forced to sell the networks as a condition of their pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. If Amazon wins, they would gain broadcast rights to over 40 MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. These games could potentially be offered for free to Prime members, much like Amazon’s existing streams of Thursday Night Football and upcoming Premier League soccer games. Over 40 parties have expressed interest in acquiring these channels, but only Amazon and a few others have actually participated in the first round of bidding. The new Fox company, which consists of the assets not included in Disney’s acquisition, such as cable networks Fox News, Fox Business, and Fox Sports, did not participate in the first round of bids but is said to bid in the second round.

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NBA League Pass with live games likely coming to Amazon Prime Video Channels

Image: Twitter user @gmyrick

It appears as though the NBA will be offering their NBA Leauge Pass streaming subscription service through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. A tweet from an Amazon employee shows the NBA subscription plan being offered on an Amazon Fire TV device, even though such a subscription is not yet available to the general public. If the plan becomes available, it means that live NBA games will be available through Amazon’s Prime Video platform for the first time. Read more ›

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WatchESPN becomes “ESPN for Fire TV” and streams new ESPN+ service for $4.99 per month

In conjunction with today’s launch of ESPN+, the new $4.99 per month standalone streaming service, ESPN has rebranded their WatchESPN app in the Fire TV appstore to ESPN for Fire TV. The newly redesigned app provides Fire TV owners access to live sports events including MLB, NHL, MLS, NCAA, golf, boxing, tennis, rugby, and more. It also includes access to original shows, highlights, and analysis. The ESPN app continues to accept activation from traditional television providers, just as the old app did, but now sports fans have the option to pay monthly for direct access.

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Alexa can now give recaps and stats for NBA and NHL games and players

Giving sports scores has been a feature of Alexa for as long as the voice assistant has been available, but Amazon has now expanded its sports knowledge with the new ability to recap games and give individual player stats, according to Engadget. If you ask “Alexa, recap the [team name] game” for an NBA or NHL team, you’ll receive a recap of the last game played. An NBA recap, for example, will provide the final score and tell you which players scored the most points, got the most rebounds, and gave the most assists with specific values for each stat. Alexa is also better with playoff games, so you can ask “Alexa, when are the next [league] playoff games?” to hear about upcoming postseason season games. You can also ask how a specific player is doing in the playoffs, by asking “Alexa, how many points/goals has [player name] scored in the playoffs?,” and other specific sports quieries.

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