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Amazon breaks the Sky and BT Sport Premier League duopoly with live rights deal

The US company will livestream 20 matches per season from 2019/20 onwards.

Fans will be able to watch more games live than ever before as part of the new deals announced today.
Fans will be able to watch more games live than ever before as part of the new deals announced today.
Image: Laurence Griffiths

ONLINE STREAMING SERVICE Amazon continued its major move into the sports broadcasting market, by breaking the dominance of Sky Sports and BT Sport to win the right to show 20 Premier League matches per season for three years from 2019/20 onwards.

The US company is the first to break up the previous duopoly of Sky and BT Sport and will exclusively livestream all 10 matches over one Bank Holiday weekend and another 10 during one midweek fixture programme.

Sky and BT will nevertheless continue to show the vast majority of live matches, with 128 and 52 respectively throughout the course of the season in new three-year broadcasting deals announced by the Premier League today.

As part of its package, Amazon will have exclusive access to 20 matches per season comprising two full fixture rounds — the first December midweek round and the festive Bank Holiday round.

It will be the first time a full round of Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live in the UK, and in addition Amazon Prime members will be able to watch weekly highlights of all top-flight games throughout the season.

In addition, the Irish rights for that pack of 20 matches has been bought by Premier Sports, which is owned by the co-founder of the now defunct Setanta Sports Michael O’Rourke.

As part of that deal, the broadcaster will show 33 live Saturday afternoon games in the Republic of Ireland, taking over that exclusive slot from Sky Sports.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: “We are very pleased to welcome Premier Sports as a new partner from 2019/20 onwards. We know they will make available high-quality Premier League coverage that will appeal to local fans.”

In a separate announcement, the Premier League also agreed that there would be a change in the distribution of money gained from the foreign broadcast deal.

The bix six clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham — managed to get the necessary 14 votes out of the 20 to agree that from 2019/20, any increase in the current international rights package, will be distributed according to league position and not equally distributed between all 20 clubs as it has been up to now.

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