Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Amazon buys United Kingdom rights to 20 Premier League matches

Amazon buys United Kingdom rights to 20 Premier League matches

Amazon will broadcast live Premier League matches and weekly highlights packages in the United Kingdom from the 2019-20 season, the tech giant has confirmed, while English top-flight clubs have agreed for any reform of broadcast revenue distribution to take league position into account.

Sky will show the most amount of Premier League football, having previously won 128 matches per season for the same time period.

In Britain, Amazon will share the broadcast rights to the Premier League with two British heavyweights - Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Specifically, the vast online retailers will show one entire round of midweek matches in early December and one round of matches over the Christmas bank holiday. The other remaining package of rights has been picked up by telco BT, which will play the matches on its BT Sport service.

The US tech giant will show 20 matches a season for three years after buying one of the final two remaining packages at an undisclosed cost.

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. The Verge notes that BT and Sky are paying the equivalent of about $12.5 million per game.

Amazon is no stranger to live sport. BT has also joined the fray in recent years and, with Sky, had already sealed deals for the majority of the EPL games between 2019 and 2022.

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Facebook made a major bid past year to stream cricket matches from the Indian Premier League and is streaming Major League Baseball games, while Twitter has streamed baseball and professional hockey games.

In future less of your Premier League viewing habits will be satisfied through a standard Sky Sports television subscription.

Memberships costs £79 a year or £7.99 a month.

Separately, the Premier League clubs have agreed a new formula for sharing any future increase in worldwide broadcast revenue from season 2019/20 onwards. However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League's hopes on revenue.

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said Amazon was an "exciting new partner", and its Prime Video would provide "an excellent service on which fans can consume the Premier League".

He cautioned that "Amazon's current business model is unsustainable to support the acquisition of costly live sports rights in the long term" and predicted that Amazon will introduce a new sports channel bundle for Prime subscribers.

"When the Premier League was formed in 1992 nobody could have envisaged the scale of worldwide growth in the competition which exists now", Scudamore said.

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