Amazon break Sky Sports-BT Sport Premier League duopoly

Executive Chairman of the Premier League remembers Vic Wakeling

After Sky and BT paid £4.5BN ($6.2BN) for the majority of games earlier this year, there were two packages left with the Premier League arranging them to encourage digital bidders.

BT won the rights to show an additional 20 matches a season for 90 million pounds ($121 million), taking its total to 52 games at a cost of 975 million pounds for three years.

In a statement, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "We are extremely pleased that Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon have invested in these rights and all view the Premier League and our clubs as vital parts of their live sports offerings".

They will show one full Bank Holiday round of games and one further midweek round on their Prime streaming service. The other 180 televised matches will be broadcast by Sky Sports and BT Sport, which have aired the Premier League in the past.

Audience figures continue to grow on BT Sport, with average viewing up 17% at the end of the most recent football season, while a BT Sport record-breaking 8.5 million people watched the UEFA Champions League final this year across our TV and digital platforms.

The deal will run between 2019 and 2022 and it will come at no extra cost to Amazon Prime members who will also be able to watch a full highlights show from the Premier League every week.

Amazon Prime already broadcasts live sports, such as the US Open tennis and NFL American football.

Ethiopian pastor killed by crocodile during lake baptism
The Crocodile Specialist Group estimates that Nile crocodiles are responsible for more than 300 attacks in Africa each year. Locals who tried to wrestle him from the crocodile were not able to do so, but succeeded in recovering his body.

Whittaker said Amazon is buying the rights as a way to boost take-up of Prime, whose customers buy 20-times more on Amazon than "normal" Amazon customers.

Throughout the auction period there has been the suggestion that online players would join the bidding for at least one package.

The Premier League has concluded the sales process for all its live broadcasting rights in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the three seasons 2019/20 to 2021/22.

The awarding of one of the two remaining batches of rights - four months after Sky and BT took the lion's share of the rights on offer - follows huge speculation at the time of the initial bid over Amazon's intentions, with analysts divided over whether the online giant would mount a bid.

"We look forward to continuing as a partner of the Premier League and showcasing the most exciting league in the world".

What does the Premier League say? They can test the concept at a lower cost to see what audiences they can generate.

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