Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Amazon will reportedly bid for Premier League soccer streaming rights next month

Premier_League_MoreBalls Amazon will reportedly bid for Premier League soccer streaming rights next month
Mandy Jefferson | 06 January, 2018, 01:32

It could drive up the cost of United Kingdom football showings on TV - the last round of bidding saw the rights shared between Sky and BT for a whopping £5.14 billion at auction, and a third major player in the space could see bids reach astronomical highs.

Allegedly, the potential entry of Amazon into the Premier League arms race is one of the reasons why BT and Sky made a decision to do the decent thing as of next year and enable all Sky Sports channels to be served on the BT TV platform as well as making it easier to get BT Sport on Sky; you'll no longer have to subscribe independently to BT.

Amazon's entry into the auction - due to be held next month -would pose a major headache for Sky and BT, who have indicated they want to rein in their spending on football.

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This isn't the first athletic venture the retailer has entered as it inked deals to stream Thursday night National Football League games, as well as ATP tennis matches.

Adding Premier League games to the fold would likely be yet another push from Amazon to add more users to its exclusive Prime service, which competes with other exclusive video, TV and movie streaming services. On a telephone call with investors, Woodward spoke of the tech companies' recent interest in sports rights around the world, including a bid from Facebook for Indian cricket matches. In April, Amazon acquired the streaming rights to ten NFL Thursday Night Football games. In September, the company bid $600 million for the Indian Premier League. In a column recently published by Digital TV Europe, former Sky COO Mike Darcey expressed the view that a bid by Amazon or another big web player is unlikely because the cost of replicating the strategy in multiple territories would be huge, because the streaming infrastructure required to provide a quality service is still lacking, and because the business model for the likes of Amazon - as against Sky - is unclear.

The current EPL TV rights don't expire until 2019 but it looks like this will be one of the most interesting races. Early moves from Amazon will likely fuel speculation of a challenge to the two companies.

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