Amazon nets landmark Premier League deal

From 2019/2020, Amazon has agreed a three year deal to stream 20 Premier League games a season after securing the league’s final broadcast package.

The US tech giant has thrust itself onto the lucrative Premier League broadcasting stage, alongside Sky Sports and BT Sports, with it winning the broadcasting rights to the a first midweek set of fixtures in December, as well as the full round of games from the traditional Boxing Day ties.

Commenting on the landmark deal, Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore stated: “We are extremely pleased that Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon have invested in these rights and all view the Premier League and our clubs as vital parts of their live sports offerings.”

Although BT Sports and Sky Sports remain the dominant broadcasters of England’s top flight, Amazon’s acquisition will be seen as significant as it not only marks the first time a streaming service has acquired the rights to the league, but it’s also the first time a full round of games will be streamed live to a UK audience.

Vice President of Prime Video in Europe, Jay Marine commented: “We are always looking to add more value to Prime, and we’re delighted to now offer, for the first time, live Premier League matches to Prime members at no extra cost to their membership,” he added.

“The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world. Over these two December fixture rounds Prime members will be able to watch every team, every game, so no matter which Premier League team you support, you’re guaranteed to see them play live on Prime Video.”

Nonetheless, the news that football fans would have to subscribe to another platform to view the full amount of available live football in the country, triggered anger amongst some sets of supporters.

The Football Supporters’ Federation outlined its belief in a statement after the deal was announced: “Fans are already of the view that there is too much live football on TV and this announcement concludes a deal that has pushed the number of broadcast games to record levels.

“The main driver for this increase has been the 2016 ruling by Ofcom which has directly led to this increase. Introducing a third broadcaster into the mix just means more subscriptions for fans.

“We are concerned that the number of broadcast games could have a negative effect on attendances by away fans in particular. It is vital that more of these television revenues are invested in guaranteeing the participation and contribution of match-goers.”

Updating investors on the New York Stock Exchange, Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward also reacted to the deal: “OTT platforms will be the future of content consumption, live, compelling content will be the key battleground. The influences of which are successful. Whichever way the rapidly changing media landscape unfolds, content generators are uniquely placed to be the beneficiaries. As such we continue to believe live sports content will be increasingly more valuable in the future.”

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