Liberty Global today announced a deal to integrate Amazon Prime Video on Virgin Media Ultra HD V6 set-top boxes in the U.K. ahead of Amazon’s Premier League streaming deal kicking off.
Liberty Global said that Virgin Media will be the first of its European operations to integrate Amazon Prime Video, meaning that others will likely follow, although that could take some time. Liberty Global successfully launched Netflix on Virgin Media in 2013, and then three years later in 2016 the companies expanded the distribution agreement to include more than 30 other countries where Liberty Global has pay TV operations.
The Prime Video integration with Virgin Media will give the provider’s four million subscribers in the U.K. access to Amazon Originals, on-demand content and Ultra High Definition (UHD) and HDR TV shows and movies.
“We are excited that these shows and many others, award-winning movies and our forthcoming exclusive Premier League matches will all be available on Virgin Media’s V6 box for millions of Prime members across the country,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Amazon Prime Video Europe, in a statement.
Aside from maybe its multiyear deal with the NFL in the U.S., a three-year streaming exclusive for Premier League soccer is likely Amazon’s most high-profile live sports licensing deal.
The deal, which is limited to Britain and runs from 2019 to 2022, 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.
Picking up additional distribution in the U.K. will be important for Amazon if it wants to get the most engagement as possible out of its Premier League deal.