LONDON: At least 20 English Premier League football matches a season will be streamed live and exclusively on Amazon from next year after the US e-commerce giant snapped up one of two final broadcast packages.
Under the terms of the groundbreaking, three-year deal, which Amazon announced in a statement, the US company has won the rights to broadcast every game from the first round of midweek fixtures as well as the traditional Boxing Day matches.
Starting with the 2019-20 season, it means that two full rounds of 20 matches per season will be made available at no extra cost to British subscribers of Amazon Prime.
Subscribers, who currently pay £79 a year, also will be able to watch weekly highlights of all matches during the season and Amazon said the deal represents the first time that a full round of Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live in the UK.
“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,” said Jay Marine, VP of Prime Video in Europe.
“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.”
On top of what the deal will deliver for UK viewers, Amazon’s move is significant because it reinforces the company’s expansion into popular sports.
Earlier this year, it secured exclusive UK rights to the US Open tennis championships and it has also struck a deal for the UK rights to the ATP World Tour.
In addition, it streams NFL matches and Major League Baseball games, but this deal represents a major extension of its interest in English football, which professional services firm Deloitte yesterday rated as the most valuable in Europe.
The deal also breaks the stranglehold that Sky and BT have had on Premier League football, although both these companies will continue their long association.
BT Sport secured the other broadcasting rights package, paying £90m to show another 20 matches to take their total to 52 games a season, while 128 matches will be aired on Sky Sports.
Sourced from Amazon, BBC; additional content by WARC staff