Amazon has scored the rights to stream Premier League football (soccer) matches in the UK for three years. It’s the first time that Brits will be able to watch a full day of games on a streaming-only service, and Amazon will offer 20 games next season to Prime subscribers at no extra cost. Amazon has secured one of the smaller packages of Premier League games, but an important one over the festive period. Prime subscribers will get access to the first midweek December games rather than the big weekend fixtures, and Amazon will also be streaming all of the festive Boxing Day fixtures.
“This will be the first time a full round of Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live in the UK,” notes Amazon. It’s a deal that will mean British football fans will need to have an Amazon Prime subscription to watch any Boxing Day matches live. Boxing Day is a public holiday in the UK, and it’s a big day of football matches. It’s also the day after Christmas Day, when most British football fans will sit around in their pajamas and feast on leftover Christmas dinner food and watch matches live.
Amazon will have paid a lot of money for these rights
Prime members will also get access to weekly highlights of all Premier League matches, alongside the live games in December. It’s not clear how much Amazon has paid for these streaming rights, but recent reports have suggested that the Premier League may have had to offer a cut-price deal for these broadcasts. BT and Sky have secured the rest of the Premier League rights for the season, and they pay around £9 million ($12.5 million) per game. Even at an aggressive discount, Amazon is still likely paying at least £100 million ($134 million) for these 20 games. That’s a huge amount of money, especially considering Amazon paid $50 million to broadcast 10 NFL games recently.
Amazon’s motivation for securing rights is clear, though. The matches, particularly on Boxing Day, will drive Amazon Prime subscriber numbers. Given the December timing, it’s easy to imagine Amazon making a big push for Prime subscriptions around the busy shopping season in the UK. It’s still a gamble for Amazon, especially given the cost of the rights.
If you’re a football fan in the UK, though, next season is looking a little complicated. You’ll need to subscribe to Amazon Prime, alongside BT Sport and Sky Sports to get access to every Premier League match that’s available on TV next year.