Amazon losing rights for the ‘Christmas’ package suggests streaming services have no interest in attempting to take on the UK market
Data and analytics specialist GlobalData believes the £6.7bn of Premier League rights deals revealed yesterday is a real-term loss for the League.
It calls the deal a “success on the surface” but raises concerns about the dominance of Sky and TNT and the lack of streaming services competing for the rights deals. It also says the deals aren’t as successful as they appear as more games are being offered in the packages compared to before.
The £6.7bn of rights packages see Sky Sports and TNT Sport agree deals to air the Premier League until the end of the 2028/29 season. The BBC also retains its highlights rights for Match of The Day.
The deals begin with the 2025/26 season and are four-year deals instead of the three-year agreements of the last auctions.
The £6.7 billion combined rights fee is an increase on the £5.1 billion paid by Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Prime Video, and BBC Sport in the last rights auction - which took place in 2018 as the rights were rolled over during the pandemic. The Premier League claims it is a 4% increase in live rights value compared to the previous process, but it does come with the caveat that more games are now on offer in a longer term deal.
But Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GlobalData, says: “The Premier League will rightly be delighted to have secured a new media rights deal with Sky and TNT in the UK market. On the surface, the deal is a success and an increase for the Premier League on its previous deal, guaranteeing the league $8.45 billion (£6.7 billion) in revenue over the next four years.
“However, in real terms the deal is a loss for the Premier League. More games are available in the packages, and the term is over four years as opposed to the three year cycles the Premier League has previously operated in simply meaning a lower cost per game, which is great for consumers but less so for the Premier League.
“There was an expectation the Amazon, Apple and DAZN would be in the running for rights yet none of have challenged the incumbents in Comcast owned Sky and Warner Bros Discovery owned TNT. In fact, with Amazon losing rights for the ‘Christmas’ package, its suggests that the streaming services have no interest in attempting to take on the UK market. With Amazon and Apple positioning themselves effectively in the US market, and DAZN having rights in several key European markets, the UK sports rights market is still dominated by Sky and will be for the foreseeable future.”