Amazon Prime will show live Premier League matches from 2019 in the UK. The technology giant has bought a football package that will give it exclusive TV -- or in this case, streaming -- rights for 20 games per season, from 2019/20 to 2021/22. These cover some midweek fixtures in early December, and the games taking place over the Bank Holiday (Boxing Day). Earlier this year, the Premier League announced that it had sold five out of seven TV packages in the UK. BT bought one bundle, worth 32 games, while Sky secured four, representing 128 matches. Today, the league confirmed that Amazon and BT have secured the final two TV packages.
Like Amazon, BT's final TV package comes with 20 live games. That brings the broadcaster's total to 52 fixtures per season — up from 42 under its current contract — from 2019/20. Volume, of course, isn't everything. Broadcasters want the best games, featuring the most popular teams, to entice new subscribers. The packages sold in February are for weekend games, and come with a medley of first, second, third, fourth and fifth "picks." The final two announced today, meanwhile, have no such system — Amazon and BT will simply be given a selection of mid-week fixtures to air.
For Amazon, though, it's a start. Premier League TV rights are ludicrously expensive to secure — even one match package is no cheap investment. The fixtures will join the 37 ATP tennis events that Amazon acquired in November last year. That's on top of the company's documentary splurge, which includes plenty of American football and a still-in-development series on Manchester City FC. These, however, are in direct competition with Netflix, which has already produced its own premium soccer and American football series. Live sports, though, are a big differentiator from its streaming rival, and a big value-add for Prime Video in the UK.
And if you're a football fan? It's good news if you already own Prime, otherwise you'll need three subscriptions to watch every Premier League match soon. No wonder so many are turning to piracy these days...