Amazon have emerged as a potential competitor for Sky Sports and could be set to rival the broadcaster for Premier League matches at the next rights auction later this year.
Experts have predicted that Sky will have to pay an extra £600m every year in order to keep the majority of Premier League matches on their channels. This works out at an extra £1.8bn – 45% more than they previously paid.
Currently, Premiership matches are split between Sky and BT Sport, who bid £5.14bn for 168 matches per season over three years.
However, English football has allegedly, as the Guardian puts it, been ‘happily flagging’ a potential bid from streaming powerhouses, such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and even Facebook, and will therefore be pleased with this latest development.
If Amazon are to bid for Premier League matches, they’ll have to seriously put their hand in their pocket.
As the Guardian points out, the cost of Premiership rights has sky-rocketed to six times what it was in 2004 and the £10m they recently forked out for their ATP tennis deal would only get them about 81 minutes of football. Sky pays about £11m per GAME.
So, why do Amazon want to branch out to the Premier League, despite the fact that it’s one of the biggest sports in the world, watched by an estimated 160m viewers around the globe.
People are watching TV less and less, and reaching for their phone, tablet or laptop an increasing amount.
Amazon realise that the future is digital. Combine this with the sheer size of the Premier League’s audience, i.e. people signing up to their service, and they’ve got a pretty sensible money-making plan.
They recently signed a $50m deal with the NFL in order to stream their Thursday night games and now they appear to have seen an opening in English football as well.
Sky have been the main Premier League broadcaster since for as long as I can remember and to see a company like Amazon take it over would be a huge change. However, change isn’t always a bad thing.