Amazon just made history by buying rights to show live Premier League games

Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

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Manchester United star Paul Pogba.
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Getty

  • Amazon becomes first tech company to win rights to show Premier League games in the UK.
  • The company will livestream 20 matches a season and Prime members are guaranteed to see every team.
  • Amazon’s entry into the market breaks Sky and BT’s five-year stranglehold on Premier League rights.

Amazon has made history by becoming the first tech company to buy rights to show Premier League games in the UK.

The US firm has acquired the rights to livestream 20 matches a season for three years, starting in August 2019. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The groundbreaking agreement was announced by the Premier League on Thursday. It will see Amazon show two full rounds of fixtures a season, one on a bank holiday and another during the week. Amazon also has highlights rights.

This means that Amazon will show coverage of every single Premier League side, including last season’s title winners Manchester City, and the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The way Premier League rights are sold in the UK is complicated and not all games are available for broadcast. Existing rights holders Sky and BT can choose what games they show and tend to focus on bigger teams, meaning some sides are featured less on television.

Amazon’s entry into the market breaks the five-year stranglehold Sky and BT have held on Premier League rights in the UK. It also adds to Amazon’s growing list of sports rights in Britain, which include US Open tennis.

Sky and BT still have a healthy grip on TV rights for the football league, however. Sky Sports paid £3.58 billion ($4.8 billion) for 128 matches a season in February, while BT has the rights to 52 games.

Amazon will make the Premier League available to Amazon Prime members. Brits can sign up for the service, which includes access to shows like “The Grand Tour,” for £79 a year or £7.99 a month.

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said: “We welcome Amazon as an exciting new partner and we know Prime Video will provide an excellent service on which fans can consume the Premier League.”

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.