Amazon has upped the ante in the television market by signing up the rights for the Premier League for the 2019/20 season – the online retail giant showing the games alongside Sky and BT which bought the rights back in January for £4.5billion.
Amazon’s offering will see every Premier League club featured across two full rounds of 20 matches per season, the first of which will be midweek games in December and then all 10 games on Boxing Day, a first for the UK.
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has welcomed the move. “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,” he said.
The company confirmed the move will come at no extra cost to existing Prime Video users but for those not already subscribed to the £7.99 per month streaming service it will see a further increase in the cost of watching football which has drawn an understandably mixed response from fans.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has made a play for streaming rights – last year winning the bid to stream live NFL games, as well as outbidding Sky on the ATP World Tour. The integration of Premier League matches for Prime customers was the next natural step in Amazon’s climb to sports-streaming dominance.
Comment on the move, Chase Buckle, Senior Trends Analyst at GlobalWebIndex says: “This will be an important step for Amazon in attracting new users in the UK to its video offerings. 3 in 10 UK Premier League fans already say they use Amazon Prime Video each month, with just over half saying they use Netflix. 6 in 10 of these fans are watching sports online on a monthly basis too, so there’s a substantial market for Amazon. In its competition with Netflix, original content has been a key focus, but live sports entertainment is where Amazon can really differentiate from Netflix.”
The move opens up Amazon not only to getting more Prime members, but also to marketing opportunities for its products around the game. Some may argue that it doesn’t need more publicity, but cementing its position in the heart of football culture in the UK could be a huge boon to signing up more users and more customers for its sellers.
According to Garrett Goodman, VP of Business Development, at video creation platform Wochit: “With each addition and integration into their streamed and owned content, Amazon is building its credibility within live sports broadcasting. English Premier League football is among the most lucrative and with Sky and BT both bidding for the rights, what Amazon’s win tells us is that the future is here, and it’s online.
“Viewership is down across traditional mediums – like TV – and Amazon clearly understands the value of increasing its Prime offering. Now customers can watch their favourite teams across devices, making it easier to catch the latest updates on the go. As they continue to assert their value with sporting audiences, I believe we’ll continue to see Premier League owners making the move to partner with the online giant.”