Amazon and their Prime subscription service have secured the rights to stream coverage of English Premier League soccer matches starting in 2019. The package includes the rights to 20 total matches including all 10 on Boxing Day. Watching soccer on Boxing Day is a British tradition not unlike the NBA on Christmas or the NFL on Thanksgiving in the States. Now, if Brits want to continue that tradition, they will need an Amazon Prime subscription.
While this may not be big news right now in the US, it is a sign of what may be to come. Amazon has already secured the streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package, but fans will also be able to see those games over the air on Fox. This new EPL agreement makes Amazon the exclusive provider of league coverage for the games specified in the contract. While the EPL deal won’t effect American soccer fans, it is one the industry should be paying attention to both because of Amazon’s bid and because of the way the EPL structured the package according to the BBC.
These two remaining packages of rights were specifically designed to appeal to the internet giants such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Facebook and Google as online streaming continues to rise in popularity.
Should Amazon Prime want to get in the business of college football or another major professional league in the USA, they will now have a model they can point to to show those leagues that they are capable of being the sole rights holder.
The company has already produced several sports themed shows and documentaries. They have spotlighted the University of Michigan football team in the past. This season All or Nothing will premier on Amazon Prime. It follows the season of Manchester City.