Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Amazon break Sky Sports-BT Sport Premier League duopoly

Executive Chairman of the Premier League remembers Vic Wakeling Image Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore
Felix Bryan | 08 June, 2018, 05:06

UK Prime members will have exclusive access to watch 20 matches per season, comprising two full fixture rounds - the first December midweek round and the festive Bank Holiday round - featuring live coverage of every Premier League team.

While the amount paid by Amazon has yet to be announced, BT will be paying £975m over three years for 52 games a season from 2019, compared with £960m for 42 live games now.

In February 2018, the League sold five of the seven packages, with Sky Sports acquiring four packages, totalling 128 matches per season, and BT Sport one package, for 32 matches per season.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore described Amazon as an "exciting new partner".

Also on Thursday, Premier League clubs have struck a new deal over sharing revenue from worldwide broadcast deals which will see any future increases divided according to league position.

Amazon Prime, which includes free delivery on purchases as well as music and video content, costs 79 pounds ($106) a year in Britain.

Amazon Prime already broadcasts live sports, such as the US Open tennis and NFL American football.

"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".

"[We] instead view this as a way to boost both retention and take-up of the Amazon Prime package rather than Amazon looking to become a Pay-TV operator", Whittaker added.

The Premier League have confirmed that worldwide revenue is set to be distributed based on league finish, with the ratio rising from 1.6.1 to 1.8.1.

The announcement came at the league's annual meeting on Thursday which also saw clubs agree for the first time to distribute some foreign television revenue based on where a team finishes from 2019.

The bix six clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - managed to get the necessary 14 votes out of the 20 to agree that from 2019/20, any increase in the current global rights package, will be distributed according to league position and not equally distributed between all 20 clubs as it has been up to now.

The deal underlines Amazon's ambition to take on traditional pay-TV broadcasters in the multi-billion dollar battle for sports rights. From 2019-20, the start of the next three-year rights cycle, any increase in the current worldwide rights package, which is inevitable, will be distributed according to league position.

Neither Amazon nor the Premier League said how much the company paid for the rights.

The Premier League's last deal, agreed in 2015 and running until 2019, was worth £5.14bn.

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