Amazon is interested in acquiring streaming rights to the Premier League, the top division of English soccer, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing Richard Broughton of Ampere Analysis. The Seattle, Washington-based tech giant is said to be eyeing the world's most popular soccer league in a bid to boost its online video offerings that are currently packaged with Amazon Prime subscriptions and are believed to be a major incentive for consumers to give the firm's premium service a go. While the company has already been committing significant resources to strengthening its video portfolio and is investing billions in original programming on an annual basis, it's currently amid a push to bring more sports content to the platform. Being the most marketable competition of the world's most popular sport, the Premier League appears to be a natural fit for Amazon's growing video ambitions, with the company already committing itself to an exclusive documentary about Manchester City's 2017/18 season.
Mr. Broughton's sources suggest it's "very likely" Amazon makes a move for partial streaming rights to the Premier League as soon as this year. The e-commerce juggernaut is said to be interested in acquiring streaming rights to matches starting from the 2019/20 season and spanning until the 2021/22 one. A three-year deal would likely be of the multi-billion variety, even if it only encompasses a smaller portion of matches. The auction held by the English Football Association (FA) is set to be concluded next month and offers seven packages, spanning from 20 to 32 matches per unit. Sky and BT are once again expected to lead the auction in terms of spending, and Facebook may also be eyeing one of the smaller packages, as recently speculated by industry insiders.
Amazon's focus on the extra benefits of Prime subscriptions like Prime Video are said to be paying off in the long term, with the company still experiencing strong growth while continuing its aggressive investments in a wide variety of industries. In essence, the core of its current strategy comes down to encouraging more people to join Prime as such consumers end up spending significantly more on Amazon and often turn into long-term customers.