Amazon on Tuesday announced a new streaming partnership with Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, the tech giant’s latest foray into sports broadcasting.

Beginning Aug. 26, Sounders games will be streamed on Amazon Prime throughout Washington state. The deal lasts for three seasons, and the games will still be available on local cable.

The announcement is the second partnership Amazon has announced with a team. Last year, it partnered with the Yankees and Sinclair Broadcast Group to purchase YES Network, a regional cable network that broadcasts New York Yankees games. Amazon was set to broadcast more than 20 games this season on Amazon Prime before the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down sports.

Marie Donoghue, a former ESPN executive who leads Amazon’s global sports programming efforts, described sports as a way to enhance Amazon Prime memberships.

“We believe the sports media landscape and most importantly sports fandom is changing,” she said. “There’s more content available than ever before, but it’s harder to find. And you have a lot of cord-cutters, people falling out of the bundle and others reconstituting their own bundle and all these [over the top] offerings. So we focus on convenience, value and selection for our Prime members.”

“We know the Sounders, and an opportunity came up,” she added. “It delivers on our promise to bring Prime value to our customers in Washington.”

Amazon is based in Seattle. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and CEO, owns The Washington Post.

For several years, there has been speculation about how tech behemoths — including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple — may wedge their way into the market for live sports rights. Amazon recently extended its deal with the NFL to simulcast “Thursday Night Football” games, including one exclusive game each of the next three seasons. It also simulcasts Premier League games in the United Kingdom and Champions League games in Germany. Facebook has aired some live sports, too, including MLB games. But none thus far has competed with traditional media companies that broadcast games on television for sports’ largest packages.

The PGA Tour and MLB recently signed new TV deals with traditional networks, and the NFL is negotiating its next deals. Industry insiders expect the current rights holders — ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox — to maintain versions of their current rights deals, though the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package, currently on DirecTV, could find a new home. The NFL is increasingly valuable to broadcast networks such as Fox and CBS, which are competing with streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon for relevance.

Donoghue declined to comment on any of Amazon’s plans. Asked what it would take to make sports as important to Amazon as it is to broadcast networks, Donoghue said she was not paying attention to other companies.

“I’m not in those businesses, so I’m not sure what drives their thinking. I can just tell you what drives ours,” she said. “We have great flexibility being part of Prime and Prime Video in particular. ... We use sports as a way to drive value for Prime members and fill out the offerings of Prime Video. ... Sports are incredibly popular, so we know it’s a very powerful area, and we know it’s really appreciated by our customers and we want to bring it to them.”

Amazon’s Sounders deal also comes as cord-cutting has accelerated to all-time high rates during the pandemic. According to MoffettNathanson, traditional paid TV subscriptions fell by 1.8 million in the first quarter of this year as the pandemic hit and live sports were mostly canceled. ESPN, NBC and CBS have launched streaming services in recent years.

“We don’t look at cord-cutting numbers to make our decisions here,” Donoghue said. “We literally look at our Prime members in Washington and give them a choice. It’s all about choice for us, not necessarily trends.”

Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said he had had talks with Amazon about streaming going back four or five years, but conversations for this deal began in earnest about six months ago. He said the ubiquity of Amazon Prime was a key reason for the partnership.

“They have a lot of Prime members,” Hanauer said. “They don’t break down all the numbers, but the penetration is significant through Washington state. That’s a big deal for us.”