Amazon buys Premier League TV rights: what you need to know as a viewer

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 07 June, 2018, 13:56

Amazon will become the first streaming service to broadcast live football in the UK, after it secured rights to 20 Premier League games from the 2019/20 season. But what will that mean for viewers?

The tech giant will show 20 matches a season for three years after buying one of the final two remaining packages at an undisclosed cost.

Sky Sports and BT Sport bought the rights to a total of 160 matches earlier this year for around £4.5 billion, at a slight discount on the previous deal, with two of the seven packages left unsold until Amazon and BT made their move this week.

BT will now broadcast 52 games per season, at a total cost of £975 million over three years, while Sky will show 128.

The rights packages include a total of 200 of the league's 380 games, up from the current deal of 168.

What games will be included?

The online retail giant has bought the rights to one full Bank Holiday round of games and to one further midweek round for the three seasons beginning 2019-20.

The TV rights were divided into the following packages:

Package A - won by BT: 32 matches on Saturdays at 12.30pmPackage B - won by Sky Sports: 32 matches on Saturdays at 5.30pmPackage C - won by Sky Sports: 24 matches on Sundays at 2pm and eight matches on Saturdays at 7.45pmPackage D - won by Sky Sports: 32 matches on Sundays at 4.30pmPackage E - won by Sky Sports: 24 matches on Mondays at 8pm or Fridays at 7.30pm/8pm and eight matches on Sundays at 2pmPackage F - won by Amazon: 10 matches from one Bank Holiday and all 10 from the Boxing Day fixture programmePackage G - won by BT: 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes

In a statement, Amazon said: 'This will be the first time a full round of Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live in the UK. In addition, Prime members will be able to watch weekly highlights of all Premier League matches throughout the season.'

Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe, said: '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.'

How can you watch the games?

The games are available to stream and download for later viewing through Prime Video.

The service costs £7.99 a month, or an annual subscription of £79 a year.

In addition to live action, there will also be weekly highlights of all Premier League games throughout the season.

What does this mean for the future of Premier League broadcasting?

In future less of your Premier League viewing habits will be satisfied through a standard Sky Sports television subscription.

The power of the broadcaster has been dwindling for years, due to an increase in competition, the changing viewing habits of consumers and the advent of internet streaming.

However, streaming can have its issues, such as lagging signal. Anyone who has watched a game on their phone before knows the pain of buffering after a cross into the box.

Sky Sports remains dominant in the market, but the balance is shifting.

What does the Premier League say?

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said: 'Amazon is an exciting new partner for the Premier League and we are very pleased they have chosen to invest in these rights.

'Prime Video will be an excellent service on which fans can consume live Premier League football '“ including for the first time in the UK a full round of matches '“ and we look forward to working with them from season 2019/20 onwards.'

A version of this story was originally published on our sister title, iNews