Amazon to show live Premier League football matches

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Defending Premier League champions Manchester City will feature on streaming service Amazon Prime Video next season.

Andy Haworth, BT Consumer's managing director for content and strategy, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer our customers even more Premier League matches and to create exciting midweek nights of top-flight Premier League football action". BT's deal means that BT Sport will, for the first time, show multiple mid-week Premier League matches on the same evening.

The remaining rights to show another two rounds of midweek games were purchased by BT Sport for £90 million (NZ$172 million), giving it 52 live matches from 2019 to 2022.

There are set to be 200 top-flight games broadcast in the United Kingdom every season from 2019/20 to 2021/22, though the total value of the rights is set to drop from the £5.14 billion paid for the last deal.

The extravagant price of Premier League TV deals have stretched the resources of Sky and BT Sport, so the arrival of a new player in the market could be viewed as a threat to their grip on the most watched league in world football.

Earlier this year Facebook struck an exclusive deal to stream some Major League Baseball matches and last year it was frustrated in a $600m bid to secure streaming rights to Indian Premier League cricket matches.

The company has more than 100 million subscribers to Prime around the world, including several million in Britain.

Memberships costs £79 a year or £7.99 a month.

However, analysts said they probably did not sell in February because they did not achieve the reserve price set by the Premier League.

The deal is an important milestone for Amazon, but it represents only a fraction of the larger Premier League pie.

Overall, the total pot of central revenues - domestic and global broadcast rights and sponsorship deals - will be distributed on a 1.8:1 basis, meaning the champions will earn 80 per cent more than the team that finishes last from 2019-20 onward.

"Sky and BT are established Premier League partners and provide first-rate coverage of the competition through their live-match broadcasts and comprehensive programming".

That hope has now been delivered, although there is no confirmation yet on how much Amazon has paid for its games while BT has revealed it has paid only £90million (€102m) for the additional 60 games, bringing its total outlay to £975million.

Amazon's entry into the market breaks the five-year stranglehold Sky and BT have held on Premier League rights in the UK.

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