Amazon Prime subscribers already benefit from a swathe of free extras, and from 2019 they’re going to be able to stream Premier League football matches too.
Amazon revealed it has purchased the rights to show 20 Premier League matches per season from 2019 to 2022 on its Prime Video streaming service.
These are mainly mid-week matches, with the more popular (and expensive) weekend games sold to BT and Sky.
The Premier League sold five of the available seven rights bundles to BT and Sky in February for £4.646bn. Alongside the Amazon news today BT was also announced as the owner of the final bundle, giving it two packages with a total of 52 live games per season.
This is Amazon’s first foray into live Premier League football, part of a growing focus on sports content. It bought live rights to 37 ATP tennis matches in 2017, and has also invested in sporting documentaries.
Prime Video is rapidly becoming a major rival to Netflix. Its extensive catalogue of movies and TV is bolstered by original productions such as Man in the High Castle, Sneaky Pete and the forthcoming billion-dollar Lord of the Rings series. Key to Prime Video’s success is its perceived value for money: it’s available as a standalone service for £5.99 per month but is included for free with a £7.99 Amazon Prime subscription that, among other things, also provides next-day shipping, free Kindle books, online shopping discounts and exclusive items.
But while this is great news for Prime subscribers, football fans may not be so happy at finding games spread across multiple services. In order to get access to any live match at home they would need to subscribe to three different platforms at considerable expensive, and many may instead decide to turn to illegal sources.