Amazon Buys Rights to 20 Premier League Matches for 3 Seasons
In a major sport licensing deal, Amazon has won the exclusive rights to stream 20 English Premier League matches per season for 3 years starting with the 2019 season. Amazon's package includes 10 first round midweek games in December and all 10 matches played on December 26. For the first time fans will be able to stream a full day of games.
To see the matches, U.K. fans will need to subscribe to Amazon Prime, which currently goes for £79 per year or £7.99 per month, but offers a free 30-day trial for new customers.
Amazon has not announced how much it paid for the rights package, but Wired suggests it was a "highly discounted" price as the inventory wasn't seeing much interest. BT will show 52 matches per season, while Sky Sports will air 128. Wired believes small regional pubs will be the losers in this arrangement, as most have poor internet connectivity and can't provide a reliable stream.
Reaction to the announcement was mixed. The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) said there is already too much live football on TV, and expressed concern that this will drive down attendance, the BBC reported. In 2015, the Premier League offered 168 matches to broadcasters. For the 2019 season it will offer 200.
In April, Amazon reportedly paid around $65 million USD per year to stream 11 Thursday night NFL games for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The company also took exclusive rights to stream the U.S. Open tennis tournament in the U.K. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently said about 100 million people around the globe have a Prime subscription.
As Amazon pushes into the living room with TV voice control, broadcasters push back. Channel 4 is worried that niche programming will be hidden from the viewer.
This Saturday, fans around the world can live stream a match between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club, in TV quality and without restrictions.
StreamAMG launched 89 video-based websites—one for each of the Football League's clubs. Over the following three months subscriptions to the site grew by over 30 percent.
International football gets a partner channel on YouTube, offering highlights from Italy, France, the U.S, the U.K., and Brazil.