Amazon in the mix for Premier League rights – report

E-commerce and media company Amazon is interested in acquiring a ‘super pack’ of rights to club football competition the English Premier League, according to the Digiday website.

Digiday, citing two executives with knowledge of the talks, said the potential for Amazon live streaming matches could allow the Premier League to test the water for its own over-the-top service.

Earlier this month, multiple reports said that the Premier League could merge its two remaining domestic rights packages into a ‘super pack’. A merged package of 40 live matches per season, near live rights to all 380 games per season and clip rights would mark the first time that rights to live matches are sold alongside near-live rights.

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky this month retained the bulk of live domestic rights to the Premier League, with the award of contracts signifying a reversal in the trend of sky-rocketing fees from recent tenders, albeit with two packages left on the table.

Incumbent rights-holders Sky, and pay-television rival BT Sport, secured five of the seven live packages on offer at a total value of £4.464bn (€5.09bn/$6.22bn). The rights are for the three seasons spanning 2019-20 to 2021-22.

Sky Sports secured Packages B, C, D and E. Package B comprises 32 matches kicking off at 5.30pm on Saturdays, while Package C includes 24 matches kicking off at 2pm on Sundays, plus eight matches kicking off at 7.45pm on Saturdays.

Package D consists of 32 matches kicking off at 4.30pm on Sundays, while Package E has 24 matches kicking off at either 8pm on Mondays or 7.30pm-8pm on Fridays, plus eight matches kicking off at 2pm on Sundays.

BT Sport has acquired Package A – 32 matches kicking off at 12.30pm on Saturdays. At the time, the Premier League said there was interest from “multiple bidders” for the remaining two live packages in the marketplace. These are Package F, which comprises all 20 matches from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme, and Package G – all 20 matches from two midweek fixture programmes.

Digiday said Amazon sat out of the initial rights talks, only entering the fray once Sky and BT secured their rights and it was clear that social media platform Facebook was not going to bid. Digiday said Amazon is unlikely to be interested in either of the two packages on offer in their current guise.

By signing Amazon as a partner, Digiday said the League can monitor the performance of this rights package while assessing the possible formation of its own OTT platform.