Friday, September 30

Cost of Watching Premier League Up By a Third After Amazon Entry

The cost for streaming every available game for the current Premier League season matches will cost UK users more than £800 by the end of 2022, an increase of about 30% since Inc. first started streaming matches in 2019.

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(Bloomberg) — The cost for streaming every available game for the current Premier League season matches will cost UK users more than £800 by the end of 2022, an increase of about 30% since Inc. first started streaming matches in 2019. 

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Amazon joined Sky and BT Group Plc at the end of 2019 in broadcasting UK Premier League games, adding one of the world’s largest companies into an already highly competitive auction process.

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Prior to Amazon’s entry, the cost to stream all live Premier League football matches for a season was just under £540 — using the best available deals without signing up to extra services. By the end of 2022 that price will be more than £800 a year, according to a Bloomberg calculation of membership fees.

An Amazon subscription — which comes with its Prime delivery service — will set consumers back £95 a year from September, up from £79 in 2019, while the cost to stream Sky Sports on Now TV is £33.99 a month, up 78% from the cheapest deal three years ago. The lowest cost to stream BT Sports is still £25 a month.

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“This is the first time Amazon has changed the price of Prime in the UK since 2014, and we will keep working to ensure Prime offers exceptional value for members,” an Amazon spokersperon said in an emailed statement.

Pivotal Research Group Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Wlodarczak said the increase in competition is driving up costs for the consumer and broadcasters alike. “It’s difficult to compete with the money and model that Amazon has,” he said.

Amazon has agreed to spend £30 million a year on Premier League rights from 2019 through at least 2025, according to the Ben McMurray, an analyst at Ampere Analysis. As a percent of the population, the UK is No. 2 in Europe for customers who have at least one streaming sports subscription, after Italy, McMurray said.

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The streaming companies have big budgets. Amazon has invested more than £1 billion in TV, movies and live sports since 2018.

However, subscribers are facing rising costs of living. The UK could see an exodus of subscribers after autumn gas bills come in, according to Minal Modha from Ampere. Netflix has already been losing customers after increased competition combined with users facing less disposable income. Last Quarter, it shed 1.3 million customers in the US and Canada, its biggest region.

Some streaming services will begin selling advertising to offset the cost and keep subscribers, according to Deloitte’s Digital Consumer Trends report, published in December. Charging customers a premium for ad-free viewing hasn’t appealed to Netflix or Disney+ in the past, which have both thrived offering products without commercial interruptions.

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But Deloitte’s study showed that about two thirds of streaming users would agree to watch as much as 10 minutes of ads per hour. Disney+ and Netflix are also developing ad-supported plans.

DAZN is incorporating gambling to supplement subscriptions. The service launched DAZN Bet in August with the aim of “creating a more recreational, sociable, and relevant experience for today’s sports fan,” it said in a statement.

OneFootball, a Germany-based football media company, announced in August this year that UK customers will be able to watch one free live game of Italian football league, Serie A, every match day of the season through its app. Traditional broadcasters are promising similar as a bid to win loyalty. Free-to-air channel, ITV Plc has said it will broadcast 10 La Liga games throughout the season.

Streaming companies are also creating other sports content to build exclusive libraries and entice viewers. Amazon has its “All or Nothing” documentary series about NFL teams, and took on Bath Rugby Club player Beno Obano to produce a behind-the-scenes documentary on Harlequins Rugby Club.

Netflix’s Formula 1 “Drive to Survive” series has been a ratings hit in its own right, something Disney executives are hoping to replicate with “Welcome to Wrexham,” a series following Wrexham Football Club and its celebrity owners, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.



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