There could be some dramatic changes coming to the Premier League next year as Amazon is rumoured to be considering a bid for the rights to stream some of the action.
The current Premier League season is being shown exclusively on Sky and BT Sport but the rights for the next three years will be put up for auction in February.
According to the Telegraph, Amazon is is keen to bid for coverage of this hugely popular league and has already held talks about UK rights.
Although Amazon has refused to comment on the rumour, the Telegraph states the development was confirmed by two well-placed sources.
One has even revealed that Amazon has been talking to external experts about the technical requirements of broadcasting such events.
What may prove Amazon’s interest is the fact the company has recently added the US Open and ATP World Tennis to its sporting portfolio and football could be next.
However, Sky and BT are unlikely to give up rights easily with the two broadcasters investing heavily in the sport over the past few years.
BT and Sky paid over £5billion in the last Premier League auction and the pair have just signed a deal that will allow the two rivals to sell each other’s channels from next year.
Sky’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said: “This is great news for Sky customers who will be able to access all matches on Sky and BT channels from the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Europa League directly with a single Sky TV subscription and with the great customer service that we provide.
“This is all part of our stated strategy to enhance our customer offering, to broaden our appeal and to open up new revenue streams for our business.”
With this level of money involved it’s not hard to see why the Premier League is so keen to stop people streaming football matches illegally.
Online TV players, such as Kodi, have become increasingly popular in the UK with many fans using illegal add-ons to stream premium sports for free.
The problem has become so bad the Premier League was recently granted a high court order allowing them to block illegal streams of matches being played.
Howver, in a recent survey for Express.co.uk it was revealed that many fans would return to legal methods of watching sport if prices were reduced.
In fact some 74 per cent of people who watch content illegally online would return to legal providers if the television package prices were dropped.
The survey was conducted by price comparison site Finder.com – the biggest comparison site in Australia, which launched in the UK back in February 2017.
It surveyed some 2,000 adults from across the UK.
According to the research, those who use nefarious methods to tune-in to premium content, including popular television dramas and live sport coverage, would return to subscriptions with the likes of Sky, Virgin Media and BT if they cost less money.
If Amazon is serious about winning the rights to show some Premier League games it’s unclear if they would drop prices or allow football to viewed as part of a Prime membership.
Pay-per-game could also be a popular choice for fans who don’t want to fork out for a monthly subscription and this could also make it cheaper for people to tune in when they want.
Sky already offers its Sports packages without a contract via NOW TV although prices start from £6.99 for one day and rise to £33.99 for a month.
Amazon is not commenting on the rumour.
Published at Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:46:00 +0000