Amazon breaks Premier League hold of Sky and BT with streaming deal

TV camera

From season 2019/20, Amazon Prime Video will show 20 live Premier League fixtures.

This isn't the first time Amazon has dipped its toe in broadcasting live sport after having bagged the rights to stream the US Open and ATP World Tour tennis tournaments, as well as select National Football League matches.

"We are extremely pleased that Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon have invested in these rights and all view the Premier League and our clubs as vital parts of their live sports offerings", Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said.

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.

However, Amazon's foray into Premier League broadcasting should not be seen as a long-term threat to Sky and BT, Liberum media analyst Iain Whittaker insisted.

"Sky and BT are established Premier League partners and provide first-rate coverage of the competition through their live-match broadcasts and comprehensive programming".

The structure of the deal is also a first: Amazon Prime Video subscribers will be able to binge on 10 matches played in early December, and another 10 over a long holiday weekend, at no additional cost.

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 has been in negotiations about the two package for months - against rivals including BT - after the completion of the sale of the most valuable TV rights packages in February.

Analysts at Liberum, however, said Amazon's main rationale for buying the rights was a way to boost Amazon Prime membership rather than looking to become a pay-TV operator.

In recent years, however, the league's top clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - have argued that they should get more of the overseas income as they are the clubs foreign fans want to watch.

Throughout the auction period there has been the suggestion that online players would join the bidding for at least one package.

The Premier League have also released details of the rights deals for the Republic of Ireland.

What does the Premier League say?

In a separate statement issued by Amazon, Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe, said members are "guaranteed" to see the team they support.

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