Amazon is said to be preparing a bid for the rights to stream English Premier League football matches. The company apparently sees sporting events as a way of drawing more viewers in to its Amazon Prime Video service, and give it more clout in competing with Netflix.
The online retailing giant is said to be aiming for one of the smaller EPL packages, which could see it stream around 20 games from the 2018/19 season. That said, the current auction (which ends in February) is for UK broadcasting rights. The Premier League tends to sell broadcasting rights for different regions separately to maximise profits.
That said, Amazon is not one of the traditional broadcasters like Sky or BT. Amazon Prime Video is available in quite a few countries at this point; including Malaysia. It’s unclear if the company will try to stream football matches globally, but that would certainly give it a leg up against the competition.
On the other hand, the original report from Bloomberg indicates that this move may be a US-centric plan. Football is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, and it would work in Amazon’s favour to secure some sort of content.
There’s also a sort of football related competition brewing among streaming sites. Netflix is set to release a documentary about Juventus football club later this year, while Amazon has responded by entering into a deal with Manchester City to produce a similar programme.