Culture&Arts

Amazon buys United Kingdom rights to 20 Premier League matches

Amazon buys United Kingdom rights to 20 Premier League matches

Amazon has netted a package of rights to English Premier League soccer games for its Prime Video streaming service, a major move into United Kingdom premium sports rights by the USA online giant.

"The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world", said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe.

Specifically, Amazon gets 10 games over one of the Premier League's busy public-holiday periods, likely Boxing Day, Dec. 26., and 10 during one of the league's program of midweek fixtures.

Amazon Prime have bought the United Kingdom package Premier Sports have acquired for the Irish market, in a move that will send shock waves through Sky and BT Sport, who have dominated the British Premier League television market in recent years. Sky and BT will televise the vast majority of matches on offer, totalling 180 in all.

Those wishing to watch the games will require a subscription to Amazon Prime UK, which now costs £79 per year or £7.99 per month.

In February, Sky and BT were between them awarded five of the seven packages in for 2019/20-2021/22 at a total bidding price of £4.464 billion.

Amazon is not the only tech company hungry for live sports.

Subscription channel Premier Sports will screen 33 Premier League games in the Saturday afternoon slot, with another 20 matches also being shown on the platform.

Recent days have seen claims that BT Sport and Amazon had taken one each of the previously unsold pair of deals, that has now been confirmed.

However, Amazon's foray into Premier League broadcasting should not be seen as a long-term threat to Sky and BT, Liberum media analyst Iain Whittaker insisted.

Amazon did not say how much it paid for its Premier League package.

Under the new formula, the maximum a club can receive is 1.8 times the amount received by the lowest-earning club, the Premier League said in a statement.

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

The online retail behemoth and streaming service becomes the first over-the-top streaming service to successfully bid for exclusive Premier League rights and joins pay-TV rivals Sky and BT in next year's line-up of providers. In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Amazon's chief executive, Jeff Bezos, disclosed that 100 million people around the world had Prime subscriptions.

"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".


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