Amazon has been entering the world of streaming sports for a few years now, including their recent deal with the NFL for streaming rights to Thursday Night Football.
Now they’re entering the world of association football, landing a package of Premier League games in the United Kingdom.
Amazon will show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years from 2019, after winning one of the final two broadcast packages.
The online streaming service has won the rights to show every game from the first round of midweek fixtures in December and all 10 matches on Boxing Day as part of the three-year deal.
Essentially that’s two days worth of matches, but if you’re in the UK and want to watch, you’ll need an Amazon Prime subscription. (It should also be noted that this is just relating to UK rights.) That’s a big deal; Boxing Day in particular is a bit of a tradition on the Premier League calendar, and though it’s just two days worth of matches, it’s not hard to imagine Amazon picking up plenty of new Prime customers here.
The rights were split up in a way that’s designed to attract a streaming partner, although it took a while for one to bite:
These two remaining packages of rights were specifically designed to appeal to the internet giants such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Facebook and Google as online streaming continues to rise in popularity. The only problem is that most of those companies failed to take the Premier League’s bait.
Now, some four months on and following extended negotiations, a deal has been struck with Amazon and BT Sport. However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League’s hopes on revenue.
And while Amazon hasn’t announced how much it paid for its slate of matches, the entire total we know of now for UK rights over the next three years is over $5 billion. That’s a valuable property. Between this and their upcoming All or Nothing documentary series on Manchester City, it’s fair to say that Amazon is getting into the Premier League business.
Whether that eventually translates to American rights remains to be seen.