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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Amazon Wants All The Live Sports

  • Amazon has quickly bought up broadcast rights to major soccer leagues across Europe.
  • The company is flush with cash while local broadcasters are struggling due to the pandemic.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Amazon has a foot in the door with America’s most popular sport, but it’s advanced even further with Europe’s. 

The company has over 200 million Prime subscribers and is using sports streaming as a way to ensure they stick around long past the pandemic.

Amazon is buying up European soccer rights — taking advantage of pandemic-related conditions that weakened local broadcasters’ balance sheets while ballooning its revenue to $108.5 billion in Q1 2021 alone.

  • The Premier League agreed to roll over its $7 billion in broadcast deals to 2025, which includes a 20-game package with Amazon. The company’s 2019 broadcast of league matches coincided with a record number of new Amazon Prime subscriptions in the U.K.
  • Amazon signed a three-year deal to broadcast Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games for $893.6 million.
  • In December, the company inked a deal to show Champions League games in Italy from 2021-2024 for a reported $96-108 million per year.
  • Spain’s La Liga modeled its broadcasting rights packages after the deal Amazon signed with the Premier League, perhaps in the hopes of luring Bezos & Co. into a deal. 

Everyone who has Amazon Prime — even if primarily for faster shipping — can watch the matches. The online retail giant airs New York Yankees games and French Open matches, too.

Amazon recently secured its first exclusive NFL deal — a 2022-2033 agreement to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” at $1 billion a season — and may pursue a deal to bring in Peyton Manning as an analyst.

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