Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Amazon.com to screen Premier League soccer for first time

Amazon.com to screen Premier League soccer for first time

Today, Amazon has announced that it will be showing 20 Premier League fixtures per season from 2019-2022, following its acquisition of a Premier League broadcasting package.

The auction for Premier League broadcast rights was held in February, but only Sky Sports and BT won partial rights at the time.

Independent.ie understands that the prospect of a global Premier League television deal could be discussed in the near future, with one rights holder owner working in partnership with the league to broadcast the matches around the world. The other remaining package of rights has been picked up by telco BT, which will play the matches on its BT Sport service.

The company will livestream 20 matches a season and Prime members are guaranteed to see every team.

The remaining package of 20 matches has been secured by BT for a cost of £90 million (€102 million) meaning the telco has secured 52 games for a totalof £975 million over three years. All of the matches will be available in the United Kingdom for no additional cost on Prime Video, the video on-demand service exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers.

Sky said on Thursday it had won the rights to show 128 games a season in Ireland in a deal that mirrors the rights it won in Britain.

"Undoubtedly, Amazon is pulling together a strong and growing set of live TV rights to complement its vast content relationship", he said.

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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 soccer deal extends Amazon's lineup of streaming sports events, which includes professional tennis matches and football games.

The deal underlines Amazon's ambition to take on traditional pay-TV broadcasters in the multi-billion dollar battle for sports rights. The huge influx of cash - several times what had previously been paid for equivalent rights - helped Premier League clubs lure top players from all over the world. "In addition, Prime members will be able to watch weekly highlights of all Premier League matches throughout the season".

"We know that Sky Sports and BT Sport will continue to provide fantastic live-match broadcasts and programming for fans across the country, and we welcome Premier Sports as a new partner".

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said: "Amazon is an exciting new partner for the Premier League and we are very pleased they have chosen to invest in these rights".

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

Prime membership now costs $12.99 a month, after going up by $2 in January.

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