For the win.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has purchased a three-year rights package to broadcast Premiership football in the United Kingdom as the online giant continues to gain a foothold in key European sports markets.
The purchase of 20 Premier League matches per season, starting in 2019, was completed Thursday, adding Amazon to the list of online firms extending their reach into global sports rights. Based on the cost of the Premier League's February rights auction, which saw the rights to 128 matches sold for $4.6 billion, Amazon would likely have paid around $12.5 million per game.
"The League has now completed the sale of the remaining two UK live rights packages, one to BT Sport and the other to Amazon," the Premier League said Thursday. "Package G, acquired by BT Sport, includes the rights to broadcast several fixtures from the split weekend, a new initiative that will create an opportunity for a mid-season player break."
"Package F, acquired by Amazon Prime Video, includes the right, for the first time in the UK, to make available a full round of live Premier League matches," the League added.
Britain's Premier League, the world's most-watch club team competition, has already sold five of its seven television packages in auctions over the past several months for a total of around $6 billion.
The first, which includes the rights to 128 matches, was won by U.K. broadcaster Sky plc (SKY) , which is currently locked in a takeover battle between Rupert Murdoch's 21 Century Fox (FOX) , Robert Iger's Walt Disney Corp. (DIS) and Brian Roberts' Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) , for £3.6 billion. The second of the larger packages was sold to U.K. telecoms giant BT Group plc (BT) for £885 million. BT paid a further £90 million to broadcast an additional 20 games per season Thursday.
"The financial results for the 2016/17 season fully affirmed the English Premier League's position as the market leader, with record revenue generated of £4.5 billion, as every one of the 20 clubs set their own personal annual revenue record," Deloitte said Thursday in its 27th Annual Review of Football Finance. "With revenue growth outpacing the growth in the wage bill, no clubs reported an operating loss and only one reported a wages/revenue ratio above the UEFA guideline for a club's financial health of 70%"
Amazon, which paid around $13.5 million to broadcast ATP Tennis matches this year. Facebook Inc. (FB) closed a deal in April to broadcast 25 Major League Baseball games while social media rival Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has rights to broadcast an National Football League pre-game show after losing its Thursday Night Football contract to Amazon last year.
Amazon shares were marked modestly higher from their $1,695.75 closing price and have risen around 45% so far this year.