Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Amazon buys United Kingdom rights to 20 Premier League matches

Amazon Premier League rights GETTYAmazon will stream 20 Premier League matches per season on Prime
Melody Ballard | 08 June, 2018, 08:29

It makes complete sense for one of the online streaming services to pick up a Premier League package. Now it has been announced that it was successful in at least part of its bid.

The Premier League offered 200 live matches a season to broadcasters, an increase from the 168 available in 2015.

The US company will exclusively livestream all 10 matches over one bank holiday of Premier League games and another 10 during one midweek fixture programme, for three seasons from 2019. And while the service won't be rivalling Sky and BT in terms of quantity - it's only agreed 20 matches per season for the duration of the three-year contract - the delivery mechanism is quite unusual.

The other unsold package of 20 matches was bought by BT Sport for £90m, taking their total to 52 games.

Andy Haworth, BT Consumer's managing director for content and strategy, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer our customers even more Premier League matches and to create exciting midweek nights of top-flight Premier League football action". It broadcast the US Open tennis, ATP World Tour Tennis events and also National Football League games. Amazon said this is the first time a "full round of Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live in the U.K".

But while the move is a huge step towards more games being streamed via subscription services, fans are furious with the Premier League for allowing it to happen.

Fortunately Amazon Prime is considerably cheaper than both BT's or Sky's Sports packages.

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Sky, which has broadcast Premier League games since its inception in 1992, still holds the majority of packages of live-TV fixtures that are valued at £4.55bn.

However, the deal adds to Amazon's burgeoning local sports rights portfolio, with the United Kingdom becoming a major focus.

In future less of your Premier League viewing habits will be satisfied through a standard Sky Sports television subscription.

While the amount paid by Amazon has yet to be announced, BT will be paying £975m over three years for 52 games a season from 2019, compared with £960m for 42 live games now.

Separately, the Premier League clubs have agreed a new formula for sharing any future increase in global broadcast revenue from season 2019/20 onwards.

No doubt the organisation are excited about tapping into a network of 100 million Prime members worldwide - over ten times the number of subscribers to Sky, who have been experiencing falling viewership in their sports packages in recent years.

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