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Amazon deal could open floodgates

'Amazon shattered the long-standing duopoly on Premier League rights held by Sky and BT'. Photo: PA
'Amazon shattered the long-standing duopoly on Premier League rights held by Sky and BT'. Photo: PA

Sam Dean

Amazon will become the first internet streaming service to show live Premier League football in a move that threatens to transform the broadcasting landscape in sport.

Consumers will now have to pay as much as £1,000 (€1,140) to watch all live matches in the 2019-20 season after Amazon shattered the long-standing duopoly on Premier League rights held by Sky and BT.

The American giant, which has secured one of two packages of live action from 2019 to 2022, will show an entire round of midweek games and all 10 matches on St Stephen's Day.

The sale of the final two packages has confirmed that the Premier League will receive its first revenue cut on domestic rights as it faces up to a shortfall of £500m (€570m) compared with the previous broadcasting deal.

Amazon, which will also show weekly highlights of all Premier League games, did not reveal how much it had paid for the package but analysts said the company is likely to have invested a similar amount to the £90m (€102m) which BT has spent on the final package.

On that basis, the Premier League's total domestic broadcasting income for the three seasons will be £4.64 billion (€5.28bn)- a cut of £496m (€564m) from the previous cycle.

The drop is largely a result of BT and Sky's agreement in February to pay £4.46bn (€5.07bn) for five of the seven Premier League packages, £640m (€728m) less than under their previous three-year contracts.

Amazon's matches will be available to view on its Prime Video service, which costs £79 (€90) per year.

Premier League fans will now have to sign up for three separate services if they want to follow all live broadcast matches in the division.

Amazon's deal comes a year after it signalled its intent to enter the UK market for live sport by paying around £30m for the exclusive UK rights to the US Open tennis.

Irish Independent

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