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Amazon buys EPL rights in UK in 1st for an internet platform

08 June 2018
Amazon buys EPL rights in UK in 1st for an internet platform

Amazon has secured the rights to show English Premier League football matches for the first time in further evidence of their financial might in the bidding wars for sports events, the league said Thursday.

Today, Amazon has announced that it will be showing 20 Premier League fixtures per season from 2019-2022, following its acquisition of a Premier League broadcasting package.

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

As a result, the deal will see Amazon Prime Video show all 20 Premier League teams.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said the league's revenue sharing remained the most equitable in Europe but it was time to amend an agreement dating back to 1992.

Sky will now air 128 games a season, up from 126 matches currently and it now has the first pick game every weekend plus Saturday evening fixtures for the first time, all screened on Sky's dedicated Premier League channel.

While only a handful of games, Amazon's acquisition is a further sign of its push into live sports broadcasting, a strategy for luring subscribers that threatens United Kingdom pay-TV incumbents Sky Plc and BT Group Plc.

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

In February, Sky Sports paid £3.58bn for four packages, while BT Sport spent £295m on another package.

The soccer move is Amazon's biggest play yet as it moves into sports, differentiating itself from streaming rival Netflix in the process. This will make it the first time a full round of Premier League matches will be broadcast live in the UK.

Take a look through the gallery to reveal some of the angry reactions to Amazon acquiring Premier League football rights.

Pescatore added that the award was "great news for BT, with its TV platform the only place where users can watch all the Premier League matches from 2019, thanks to its content relationships with Amazon and Sky - for Now TV".

"Crucially, Amazon does not need to offer the best matches to boost take-up of Prime but only some matches", they said.

For customers it means an additional subscription should they want to consume everything.

Will it spread the existing market more thinly? Sky, in particular, will be watching their subscription numbers closely.