Amazon Scores U.K. Premier League Soccer Rights Deal

Kevin De Bruyne unleashes a 25-yard strike to put Man City 3-0 up against Swansea

Amazon Prime have bought the United Kingdom package Premier Sports have acquired for the Irish market, in a move that will send shock waves through Sky and BT Sport, who have dominated the British Premier League television market in recent years.

"We welcome Amazon as an exciting new partner and we know Prime Video will provide an excellent service on which fans can consume the Premier League", Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said in a statement.

While the amount paid by Amazon has yet to be announced, BT will be paying £975m over three years for 52 games a season from 2019, compared with £960m for 42 live games now.

Add BT Sport to your Sky TV package for £27.99 a month, plus a £20 fee, and Amazon for another £7.99 a month.

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 new deals mark the first time a full round of matches will be shown live in the UK. The company said it would make the games available as part of its current Amazon Prime subscription deal.

Amazon, which started as an online retailer, has built up an increasingly impressive sports portfolio and broadcasts the US Open tennis, ATP World Tour Tennis events - where they outbid Sky by offering £50 million - and National Football League games. These packages were also the first time the Premier League made them available to livestream, rather than relying on traditional TV broadcasting.


"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, Vice President of Prime Video in Europe. Amazon has now stepped in and scooped up one of those tranches of rights.

The Premier League have confirmed that global revenue is set to be distributed based on league finish, with the ratio rising from 1.6.1 to 1.8.1.

Amazon's entry into the market breaks Sky and BT's five-year stranglehold on Premier League rights. It's also the latest addition to Amazon's local sports portfolio, after it purchased the rights to the US Open back in April.

The rivalry between Sky and BT in recent years has resulted in huge price inflation of 70% at each of the past two auctions.

The deal is an important milestone for Amazon, but it represents only a fraction of the larger Premier League pie.

"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.

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