US online retail giants Amazon has announced that it has purchased one of the two remaining packages of Premier League games available for three seasons from August 2019.
Sky Sports and BT Sport – as outlined here – purchased 160 of the 200 available games in the initial round of bidding. Until recently, two packages remained unsold. However, BT Sport has now added another 20 matches per season to its scheduling for £90 million, with Amazon buying the other.
Amazon will exclusively live stream all 10 matches over one bank holiday of Premier League games and another 10 during a midweek fixture programme, for three seasons from 2019.
Amazon has long since moved into the world of online entertainment with its Prime membership streaming video and music to customers, as well as giving them expedited shipping for products they purchase via the website. Last year they outbid Sky for the UK rights to show the ATP World Tour tennis and to live audio-stream Bundesliga football commentaries in Germany.
Adding Premier League football to the package is an obvious transition, especially at a time when people’s consumption of the sport is now far from traditional. The television is just one of the ways people watch the beautiful game, with computers, tablets and mobile devices all part of the experience these days.
What will it mean for consumers though? Effectively, it means that if you don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll have to take one up, adding another monthly cost on top of what you already pay for Sky and BT.
Prime costs £79 a year in the UK or a monthly subscription of £7.99.
In Ireland, the League has concluded the sale of 233 live matches per season split into eight packages of rights, the same seven packages of rights as in the UK and an additional package of 33 Saturday 15:00 matches.
Sky Sports has acquired four packages, totalling 128 matches per season, BT Sport two packages, totalling 52 matches per season, and Premier Sports two packages, totalling 53 matches per season.
That may mean an additional subscription to Premier Sports, although the company is expected to hold talks with Sky, Virgin Media, Eir and other platforms about offering these games to customers in Ireland.