Amazon agree Premier League rights deal; fans groan

Date published: Thursday 7th June 2018 12:20

Amazon has entered the Premier League rights market by agreeing a deal to televise 20 matches per season from the 2019-20 campaign.

The online retail giant has bought the rights to one full Bank Holiday round of games and to one further midweek round for the three seasons beginning 2019-20, the Premier League announced on Thursday.

BT has purchased the one other outstanding package of rights left available, taking its total to 52 matches per season under the new deal.

These two three-year lots of 20 games a season failed to reach their reserve price in the auction in February, when BT and Sky spent £4.5billion between them on 160 games.

The league had hoped these innovative packages – two chances to show all 10 games of a particular round – would tempt the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google into the market for live rights.

That hope has now been delivered, although there is no confirmation yet on how much Amazon has paid for its games. BT has revealed it has paid £90million for the additional games, bringing its total outlay to £975million.

Amazon’s offering will be available via its Amazon Prime Video service and it is likely that the rounds of fixtures will take place over more than one day, giving the firm more bites at the cherry.

Fifteen of BT’s extra games will come from two midweek fixture programmes and five from a new split weekend in January which will enable the Premier League to take a midwinter break for the first time – a move that will delight the Football Association and whoever is managing the England team.

On a busy day of announcements at the Premier League’s summer meeting, it was also confirmed that the ‘big six’ clubs have won their fight to take a bigger share of the top tier’s booming international broadcasting revenue.

 

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