Amazon and BT are sharing the rights for European soccer starting on 1st July 2022. The deal is worth around US$1.1 billion over three years, or UKPS917 million. It is 23 per cent cheaper than the previous deal, and Amazon will not lose sleep over the loss of 17 first-pick Tuesday fixtures. The agreement is good news for Prime Video subscribers who will get even more value for their subscriptions. However, there is a catch, as it could result in subscribers cancelling their subscriptions.
BT said that UEFA Champions League games have been a success on its network, with viewer hours rising by 37%. BT also said that the final of last season’s Champions League was one of the most watched games in the UK, with over 12.6 million people tuning in across all platforms. Amazon and BT are expected to split the cost of the rights for European soccer by the end of this year.
BT and Amazon will share the live rights of Champions League games in the UK from 2024-2027. Amazon will show the big games on Tuesday evenings, as BT will continue to air the smaller European competitions. BT will continue to show highlights and other European soccer games, such as the Europa League. Amazon will broadcast the top-pick matches through to the semi-finals and finals every Tuesday night.
BT has previously held the exclusive U.K. rights to European soccer, but this deal gives the latter more flexibility. It will have the right to cover the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League – all of which are played at the same time, and they will be able to share in advertising. The new deal will give BT more time to develop their premium sports venture in the UK.
BT’s interest in European soccer had cooled in recent years. The company needed to invest in fibre and 5G networks. BT also needed to protect their exclusive property. However, BT’s deal with Uefa was set to expire in 2019 and despite its lack of interest, the deal has been successfully concluded. In the meantime, both BT and Amazon will benefit from the continued coverage of European soccer.