Amazon Buys EPL rights

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There is good news for the Amazon customers, the company who is entering other domains also apart from e-business, has recently won the rights to broadcast English Premier League (EPL) football matches from the 2019/20 season. According to the partnership deal, Amazon will broadcast 20 Premier League football matches per season for an initial three years period, starting from 2019 onwards. The financial terms of the deal were kept undisclosed.

The auction for the Premier League broadcast started in February 2018, where several companies participated but only Sky Sports and BT won the partial rights. Both the companies will broadcast the majority of matches on offer, totaling 180 in all. Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s executive chairman, said that they welcome Amazon as a new partner and believe that Amazon Prime Video will offer an excellent platform to broadcast Premier League. Sky Sports paid a total of £3.58 billion for three years matches, while BT Sport paid a total of £885 million. However, the financial terms with Amazon were not disclosed. From August 2019 onwards, BT will show 52 live games a season at a cost of £975 million over three years, and Sky 128, paying £3.75bn. Facebook was also bidding for the rights, but it is Amazon who wins the battle.

How the 3 winning companies will broadcast the games

CompanyGamesBroadcast slots
Sky Sports128 live gamesSaturday (5:30pm/7:45pm);
Sunday (2pm/4:30pm);
Monday (8pm);
Friday (7:30pm/8pm)
BT Sports52 live gamesSaturday (12:30pm);
Midweek (7:45pm/8pm *TBC)
Amazon20 live gamesBoxing Day (kick-off tbc);
Midweek (7:45pm/8pm *TBC)

This is not the first time that the leading companies are showing their interest in live sports. Earlier also, Amazon agreed to pay about $50 million to broadcast 10 “Thursday Night Football” games under an agreement that is still open. In 2017, Facebook made a major bid to stream cricket matches from the Indian Premier League; is already showing Major League Baseball games, while Twitter has streamed baseball and professional hockey games.

The Amazon Prime Video members will be able to view 10 matches played in early December and another 10 games on Boxing Day. By showing the live matches, Amazon will be able to increase its prime customer base many folds thus causing an increase in the usage of amazon coupons. The Premier League is the most preferred watched sports league in the world; the Amazon Prime members will be able to watch every team and every game. Amazon said the matches would be available to UK Prime Video members at no extra cost to their existing subscription; but those who have not subscribed to the £7.99 monthly plan, will see a surge in the cost of watching football.

In an annual letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, disclosed that approximately 100 million people globally are its prime subscriptions. In Britain, Amazon will share the broadcast rights to the Premier League with two other UK companies- Sky Sports and BT Sport.

With Amazon broadcasting the Premium League Football, the pubs across the country will be adversely affected. The pubs are the place where the football fans celebrate the performance of their favorite teams. However, the live streaming games require high internet connectivity at homes which is relatively lesser in the outskirts areas in the country. Presently also, the majority of the parts in the UK have low fiber broadband connection, and for Amazon who committed to broadcast even ten games at the same time will be a little complicated. Due to which the customers might be forced to upgrade their fixed-line broadband connection. But these are issues which can be solved in some time.

Overall, the decision of Amazon will witness an increase in its clientele in the long run. For instance, there might be some people who are not Amazon customers but might be attracted by getting a free Amazon Prime trial to watch the games. After the matches will be over, some of the new Prime customers will likely continue their membership with Amazon, giving the company a larger opportunity to increase market share by many folds. These are just the speculations, how Amazon’s decision of foraying into the live streaming games will affect its viewership, will be discovered in the future only.

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