Amazon breaks into English Premier League with new deal

TV camera

Amazon has made it's much expected entry into the Premier League rights market Credit AFP

Scudamore has overseen the value of television rights soaring 12-fold to more than 8 billion pounds ($11 billion), cementing the competition's status as the richest football league in the world.

Amazon, which started as an online retailer, has built up an increasingly impressive sports portfolio and broadcasts the US Open tennis, ATP World Tour Tennis events - where they outbid Sky by offering £50 million - and National Football League games.

Amazon will broadcast live Premier League matches and weekly highlights packages in the United Kingdom from the 2019-20 season, the tech giant has confirmed, while English top-flight clubs have agreed for any reform of broadcast revenue distribution to take league position into account. The matches will be across two rounds of fixtures - the first December midweek round of matches, and all the fixtures on Boxing Day.

It has won one of the final two broadcast packages to show games from England's top flight and for the first time a full round of fixture is to be broadcast live in an innovative move.

That could open the door for Facebook or Amazon to strike a deal that would change the way football is watched in the United Kingdom, with the spiralling cost of signing up for television packages seeing a boom in fans watching matches on illegal internet streaming services every weekend. It will all be at no extra cost.

However, the action will only be available to their Amazon Prime UK subscribers, which is the online seller's premium service available for a fee. We live in hope.

Memberships costs £79 (S$140) a year or £7.99 a month. You can see more details on the Amazon Prime page.

The US company is the first to break up the previous dominance of Sky and BT Sport.

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However, two packages went unsold because they failed to reach their reserve price, despite the League saying there were "multiple bidders".

Amazon and Twitter, along with Facebook (FB) and the YouTube unit of Alphabet (GOOGL), have been aggressive in trying to strike deals with sport leagues.

But the format of the Premier League's auction makes it easier for digital media companies to compete.

BT Sport bought the other to add to the giant package they already purchased, when they and Sky Sports spent £4.5billion between them on 160 games.

Sky said on Thursday it had won the rights to show 128 games a season in Ireland in a deal that mirrors the rights it won in Britain.

"This new agreement will continue that trend with a subtle change that further incentivises on-pitch achievement and maintains the Premier League's position as the most equitable in Europe in terms of sharing central revenues".

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore described Amazon as an "exciting new partner".

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