FILE - In this June 16, 2014, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle. In a milestone announced Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Bezos has become the first person to amass a fortune surpassing $100 billion in Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s moguls. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
JOHANNESBURG - A Wall Street analyst told Business Report told that Facebook and Amazon could be disruptive forces in the TV sports rights in the coming years.

Daniel Ives, the head of research at GBH Insights, said Facebook was eyeing a bigger role in securing live sports content, while Amazon has deep pockets to become a major player.

“We believe original content programming spend could approach between $1 billion to $1.5bn over the next year for Facebook with a sizeable portion of this dedicated to live sports programming rights for various NCAA, MLB, potentially NFL events, and other international events,” Ives said.

“With Amazon planning to spend $5 billion+ on content in 2018 based on our estimate, we believe the company’s deep pockets, 90 million Prime members and growing, and established streaming franchise makes it a potential major disruptive force to future live sports rights.”

He added that Google and Apple remain the wild cards in this battle for live sports content depending on their strategic content direction along with Snap and Twitter tangentially in the mix.

Facebook last week stepped its efforts to acquire rights to stream professional sporting events, a key element of its strategy to grow its video business.

The social media powerhouse clinched a deal with Major League Soccer and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications in a deal that gives it exclusive, English-language rights to stream at least 22 regular-season soccer games in the U.S.

The first game was expected to stream on Sunday.