By most accounts, Premier League football is the most popular spectator sport in the world. Matches from the UK get sold all over the world, and even here at home Sky and BT are wiling to shell out billions for the rights to broadcast matches. For a while rumours have spread about Amazon and Facebook trying to get into the Football streaming business, and now those rumours are coming true because it's been announced that from 2019 Amazon will show 20 Premier League games a season for three seasons.
More specifically Amazon has the exclusive rights to broadcast 10 games over a single bank holiday weekend, and another 10 games during one midweek fixture programme. The other rights package that was available to purchase was bought for £90 million by BT, enabling it to exclusively broadcast 20 midweeek games over three seasons. That brings its total up to 52 games per season from 2019, while Sky will offer 128.
This is a big deal though, because someone managed to break through Sky and BT's hold on Premier League matches. These packages were also the first time the Premier League made them available to livestream, rather than relying on traditional TV broadcasting. 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 tennis is going to be available to anyone with a Prime or Prime Video subscription, which is presumably what will happen with the football.
The downside, however, is that dependent on which matches Amazon ends up streaming, some fans may have to pay for yet another subscription if they want to watch them all. Fortunately Amazon Prime is considerably cheaper than both BT's or Sky's Sports packages. [The Guardian]