Amazon inks deal to show 20 soccer matches a year in UK

Executive Chairman of the Premier League remembers Vic Wakeling

Image Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore

Scudamore has overseen the value of television rights soaring 12-fold to more than 8 billion pounds ($11 billion), cementing the competition's status as the richest football league in the world.

Amazon has emerged as the mystery bidder that has picked up 20 unsold Premier League matches left on the table following the auction process earlier this year.

Package F, acquired by Amazon Prime Video, includes the right, for the first time in the United Kingdom, to make available a full round of live Premier League matches. The matches will be across two rounds of fixtures - the first December midweek round of matches, and all the fixtures on Boxing Day.

The Premier League comprises of 20 teams, and the package of 20 games will cover two full rounds of fixtures, thereby including all participant teams.

No doubt the organisation are excited about tapping into a network of 100 million Prime members worldwide - over ten times the number of subscribers to Sky, who have been experiencing falling viewership in their sports packages in recent years. It will all be at no extra cost.

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Amazon will exclusively stream the first round of midweek games in December and all 10 games on St Stephen's Day via its Amazon Prime Video service, which now costs £7.99 (€9) a month or £79 for an annual subscription. We live in hope.

In a separate statement issued by Amazon, Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video in Europe, said members are "guaranteed" to see the team they support.

In March, Facebook reached a deal to broadcast 25 Major League Baseball games, available on the Facebook Watch channel.

Amazon Prime have bought the United Kingdom package Premier Sports have acquired for the Irish market, in a move that will send shock waves through Sky and BT Sport, who have dominated the British Premier League television market in recent years.

The upshot for football fans is that there will now be three places to watch live Premier League football from the 2019/20 season, so how much is that going to cost you?

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What does this mean for the future of Premier League broadcasting?

BT has bought 52 games a season, Premier Sports 53 games, including a match at 3pm on Saturdays, and Sky 128 games.

Package G, acquired by BT Sport, includes the rights to broadcast several fixtures from the split weekend, a new initiative that will create an opportunity for a mid-season player break.

"When the Premier League was formed in 1992 nobody could have envisaged the scale of global growth in the competition which exists now", Scudamore said.

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