Amazon buys rights to 20 Premier League games a season

Tonya Becker
June 8, 2018

But Amazon's victory was in how it can deliver the games: While digital companies have typically bought only the digital streaming rights to sporting events, Amazon's deal includes the exclusive rights for the matches it shows.

The US web retail giant has broken the stranglehold of Sky and BT Sport with a groundbreaking deal to livestream matches for the first time.

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.

Fifteen of BT's extra games will come from two midweek fixture programmes and five from a new split weekend in January which will enable the Premier League to take a mid-winter break for the first time - a move which will delight the Football Association and whoever is managing the England team.

It has now been confirmed that the United States company has bought one of those packages, with BT taking the other.

That means from August next year, BT will be showing 52 live games per season with Sky Sports broadcasting 128 matches.

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.

In February, Sky Sports paid £3.58bn for four packages, while BT Sport spent £295m on another package.

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

That said, it's not quite as good of a deal as the recent Champion's League final, which was streamed for free through BT's YouTube channel.

The Premier League had introduced two new packages of live fixtures that included matches played simultaneously which would particularly appeal to an online streaming group. Amazon has now stepped in and scooped up one of those tranches of rights.

Memberships costs £79 (S$140) a year or £7.99 a month.

"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. However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League's hopes on revenue.

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

For Amazon, the ability to show sports could be a way to get more people to sign up for Prime subscriptions, which cost $US119 in the United States and about $US106 in Britain.

The Premier League have also released details of the rights deals for the Republic of Ireland.

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