Amazon opted not to be part of Premier League’s historic $8.5 billion media deal, making it one of the few recent sports TV agreements that doesn’t include a major streaming component.
England’s top-tier soccer league signed four-year agreements with Sky Sports and the U.K.’s TNT Sports, securing the domestic rights through the 2029 season in the largest sports media rights deal in U.K. history.
Amazon decided not to bid due to the make-up of the packages, which offer fewer packages with more games. The company said it had difficulty “exploiting a premium, high-volume model within their Prime subscription,” according to CNN.
Amazon was not immediately available for comment.
The Premier League’s media agreement bucks the trend of sports incorporating a large streaming partner, which has yielded more lucrative deals. It’s also a surprise move from Amazon, which has aggressively sought more sports content. Last month, NASCAR inked a $7.7 billion deal that includes various media partners – with Amazon among them.
Sky Sports won four out of the five packages and will show 215 Premier League matches each season, 100 more than it’s currently contracted for. It will keep the Super Sunday slot at 4:30 p.m. and broadcast all ten final-day matches for the first time. TNT Sports netted one package with 52 games airing at 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and complete coverage of two midweek match rounds.
All Premier League matches played sans those scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays will air live. BBC’s Match of the Day will continue to showcase highlights from all 380 Premier League matches through the next four seasons.
Prime Video shows 20 matches per season under the current deal, which expires in 2026. The streaming service added several sports deals to its platform, such as NFL’s Thursday Night Football and MLB games. Sports on streaming has taken off in recent years as more services strive to expand their member base and reduce subscriber loss, and are willing to bid big bucks to get media rights deals.
Unlike football and baseball, soccer has more of a global following, with 53% of the world watching or following teams, according to GWI. Football and baseball don’t make the top ten list. These high-value packages entice sports-loving households that have cut the cord and turned exclusively to streaming, which offers a way to catch nearly every game in various leagues.
Which is why it’s surprising that the new Premier League deal doesn’t include streaming.
During the 2023 to 2024 season, the Premier League saw an 8% increase in viewers, according to TNT Sports.
“We have enjoyed record audiences and attendances in recent seasons, and we know that their continued innovation will drive more people to watch and follow the Premier League,” said Premier League’s Chief Executive Richard Masters, according to Yahoo! Sports.