In the not too distant future, one of the world’s most powerful sport leagues, the English Premier League could have its games streamed on Facebook or Amazon.
Facebook and Amazon will ‘absolutely’ bid for the Premier League’s broadcasting rights, according to Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. The Premier League has been televised on Sky Sports since it was formed in 1992. Their current 3 year deal is worth $8.8 billion, and lasts through 2019.
A decade ago it would have been farfetched to see one of the world’s most popular sports broadcast on a platform other than traditional television, but viewing habits have changed. In the United States, the NFL London games are streamed on Yahoo and can only be viewed on traditional television locally. Amazon streams NFL games in some countries overseas and games have also been viewed on Twitter.
Currently, NBC owns broadcasting rights to the English Premier League in the United States. NBC’s six year deal ends in 2022 costing the network nearly $1 billion. The games are offered through their streaming platform for TV subscribers as well as a $49.99 paid subscription for those that no longer use traditional television.
As rich companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple begin to enter the world of streaming sports, the price will be driven up. Even if Facebook or Amazon do not outbid Sky Sports for the English Premier League broadcasting rights, it will almost certainly lead to a more lucrative payout for the League’s 20 clubs.