Amazon to broadcast 20 Premier League matches per season

TV camera

The US firm has acquired the rights to livestream 20 matches a season for three years, starting in August 2019.

Sky, which has broadcast Premier League games since its inception in 1992, still holds the majority of packages of live-TV fixtures that are valued at £4.55bn.

Essentially that's two days worth of matches, but if you're in the United Kingdom and want to watch, you'll need an Amazon Prime subscription.

The new beneficiary of this is simultaneously predictable and wholly surprising - Amazon.

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

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.

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said Amazon was an "exciting new partner", and its Prime Video would provide "an excellent service on which fans can consume the Premier League". Last year, the company agreed to pay about $US50 million ($63 million) to stream 10 "Thursday Night Football" games in the U.S., an arrangement that Amazon and the NFL have since extended for even more money. The matches will be across two rounds of fixtures - the first December midweek round of matches, and all the fixtures on Boxing Day.

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Any growth beyond the value of the 2016-19 foreign deals with be distributed based on where a team finishes - reflecting the meritocratic allocation of domestic television income.

Those concerns appear to have focused minds as a compromise has been reached.

These two remaining packages of rights were specifically created to appeal to the internet giants such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Facebook and Google as online streaming continues to rise in popularity.

BT also announced it had picked up the remaining package of 20 matches on Thursday.

Under the new formula, the maximum a club can receive is 1.8 times the amount received by the lowest-earning club, the Premier League said in a statement.

"Back then the clubs put in place a revenue-sharing system that was right for the time and has served the league well, enabling them to invest and improve in all areas". However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League's hopes on revenue. Sky has 128 games per season, and BT has 52.

There are still a number of overseas deals to be completed but it is expected that the Premier League will double the #3bn it received in overseas revenue from the previous three-year cycle.

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