Amazon and BT take remaining Premier League rights

Posted June 08, 2018

The US firm has acquired the rights to livestream 20 matches a season for three years, starting in August 2019.

BT Sport bought the other to add to the giant package they already purchased, when they and Sky Sports spent £4.5billion between them on 160 games.

In February 2018, the League sold five of the seven packages, with Sky Sports acquiring four packages, totalling 128 matches per season, and BT Sport one package, for 32 matches per season.

Two major TV rights deals were announced for the Premier League on Thursday, in what could be bad news for both supporters and smaller clubs.

Amazon said it would make two rounds of games - the early December midweek games and the Christmas bank holiday games - and weekly highlights available to its Prime members in Britain for free. Today's Premier League announcement, and the recent deal with NOW TV, means BT TV customers will have access to all of the best exclusively live sporting action in the UK. The service costs £7.99 a month, or an annual subscription of £79 a year.

The revenue from British rights is not distributed entirely on an equal basis with clubs given more according to league position and also the amount of times they feature on live broadcasts.

Analysts at Liberum, however, said Amazon's main rationale for buying the rights was a way to boost Amazon Prime membership rather than looking to become a pay-TV operator.

There is an expectation that Premier Sports may now look to do a deal with one of the major television providers to ensure the games they have the rights to attract the biggest possible audience, with the shake-up in television rights also affecting the United Kingdom market.

"There is huge appetite for the Premier League in Ireland and we are very pleased to have concluded this process which ensures more matches than ever before will be available live from 2019/20 onwards", said Premier League chief Richard Scudamore.

"We look forward to continuing as a partner of the Premier League and showcasing the most exciting league in the world". However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League's hopes on revenue.

Amazon did not say how much it paid for its Premier League package.

There are still a number of overseas deals to be completed but it is expected that the Premier League will double the #3bn it received in overseas revenue from the previous three-year cycle. They can test the concept at a lower cost to see what audiences they can generate.