Amazon to show live Premier League football matches
Jun 08, 2018, 05:09
Meanwhile, Sky has signed up four of the seven packages, meaning that the 21st Century Fox-backed broadcaster will show more games than ever before in the three years from 2019.
The US online retail giant has broken Sky and BT's stranglehold on English top-flight football by taking one of the Premier League's two remaining TV rights packages.
Amazon will exclusively stream the first round of midweek games in December and all 10 games on St Stephen's Day via its Amazon Prime Video service, which now costs £7.99 (€9) a month or £79 for an annual subscription.
It adds live Premier League football to Amazon's sports portfolio which already includes the ATP World Tennis Tour and the US Open tennis and NFL games.
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"We welcome Amazon as an exciting new partner and we know Prime Video will provide an excellent service on which fans can consume the Premier League", added Richard Scudamore, the league's executive chairman.
Amazon said it will stream 20 Premier League matches per year for three seasons, starting in 2019, for Prime members in the U.K. It will begin with a midweek round of matches in December 2019 and a slate of matches on Boxing Day.
The Premier League have also released details of the rights deals for the Republic of Ireland.
"This new agreement will continue that trend with a subtle change that further incentivises on-pitch achievement and maintains the Premier League's position as the most equitable in Europe in terms of sharing central revenues".
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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.
The rivalry between Sky and BT in recent years has resulted in huge price inflation of 70% at each of the past two auctions.
A fraught divide between the clubs in recent years had centred on leading clubs demanding a greater share of the worldwide revenue stream. Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights, said the next 12 to 18 months were a "pivotal window" for digital platforms such as Amazon and Facebook to secure major sports rights.
The Premier League is easing into doling out fixtures to streaming video.
The Amazon deal is good news for the EPL, which will welcome competition after the value of its main rights packages fell this time. They can test the concept at a lower cost to see what audiences they can generate.
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