Amazon’s hunger for live sports continues unabated as the streamer just picked up a three-year TV rights deal for Premier League soccer.
The deal, which is limited to Britain, nets Amazon 20 matches per year. According to the BBC, Amazon will be showing every game during the first round of midweek fixtures in December and 10 matches on Boxing Day. In addition, Amazon will be showing weekly highlights of all weekly Premiere League matches.
It's unclear how much Amazon paid for the package but the BBC said BT Sport paid £90m for the other remaining package of 20 matches.
“We are always looking to add more value to Prime, and we’re delighted to now offer, for the first time, live Premier League matches to Prime members at no extra cost to their membership,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe, in a statement. “The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world. Over these two December fixture rounds Prime members will be able to watch every team, every game, so no matter which Premier League team you support, you’re guaranteed to see them play live on Prime Video.”
Peter White, CEO of the International Association for Broadcast and Media, wrote in a blog post that given Amazon’s recent lust for sports rights the Premier League, the deal shouldn’t be a surprise. But he said it’s still notable considering the caliber of the matches.
“What’s new here is that the Premier League is the world’s most-watched sports league and the fixtures Amazon has bought are not also-rans but full rounds of matches including all the top teams in sports primetime. From the outside, while Amazon may have got its package for what it would consider a bargain, this move looks like a massive step up in ambition,” White wrote in the post.
He speculated that Amazon or other FAANG companies might start bidding for full-on sports rights in the near future.
In April, Amazon signed a two-year streaming deal with the NFL in the U.S. for Thursday Night Football games, an extension of the one-year deal the companies signed in 2017. During the same month, Amazon Prime locked up a five-year exclusive deal for live telecast rights in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
“Prime Video is focused on bringing customers a great selection of high-quality entertainment across drama, comedy, documentaries, live sports and more,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video Europe, in a statement. “We are delighted to now offer Prime members U.S. Open tennis at no extra cost to their membership, right alongside their favorite shows and movies.”