Amazon Prime Video to stream live Premier League matches and highlights

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The global online retailer will show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years in Britain, starting from the 2019/20 season, the league said on Thursday (June 7).

"There is huge appetite for the Premier League in Ireland and we are very pleased to have concluded this process which ensures more matches than ever before will be available live from 2019/20 onwards", said Premier League chief Richard Scudamore.

This isn't the first time Amazon has dipped its toe in broadcasting live sport after having bagged the rights to stream the US Open and ATP World Tour tennis tournaments, as well as select National Football League matches.

It will show all 10 fixtures over one bank holiday of matches and another 10 during one midweek fixture programme.

However, the action will only be available to their Amazon Prime UK subscribers, which is the online seller's premium service available for a fee.

In February, Sky paid £3.579bn for four packages, while BT Sport shelled out £295m on another as the pair went head-to-head.

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"Undoubtedly, Amazon is pulling together a strong and growing set of live TV rights to complement its vast content relationship", he said. Amazon also bought exclusive rights to show the US Open tennis tournament in Britain, as well as the men's ATP World Tour. Though Amazon may have gotten a discount, its Premier League price tag would still likely hit nine figures in USA dollars.

Facebook made a major bid a year ago to stream cricket matches from the Indian Premier League and is streaming Major League Baseball games, while Twitter has streamed baseball and professional hockey games. In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Amazon's chief executive, Jeff Bezos, disclosed that 100 million people around the world had Prime subscriptions.

However, Amazon's foray into Premier League broadcasting should not be seen as a long-term threat to Sky and BT, Liberum media analyst Iain Whittaker insisted.

Recent days have seen claims that BT Sport and Amazon had taken one each of the previously unsold pair of deals, that has now been confirmed. While most large rights packages in the United States are for seven seasons or more, the Premier League offers only three-season blocks, lowering the get-in cost.

"The development of Amazon Prime service is a longer-term strategy to try to reduce the number of illegal streaming sights and push people to pay for subscriptions".

In contrast, the Premier League will be delighted with this outcome after having secured a leading online giant.

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