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Facebook, Amazon and Netflix Prepare to Enter Premier League TV Bidding War

Atheer – Oman News Agency

The duopoly that has presided over Premier League TV rights could be under its greatest ever threat, as tech giants such as Amazon prepare to enter the ring.

In each of the previous two auctions for broadcasting privileges, the resulting blind bidding process has seen a 70 percent rise in investment, which has seen clubs become ever richer and the bubble encasing it all ever more inflated.

As such, 15 of the current 20 top-flight clubs have broken their transfer record in the past two years, with four doing so since 2014. This means that only Newcastle United, who laid out 25 million euros on Michael Owen back in 2005, remain.

Since the 1992/93 season and the Premier League’s rebranding, Sky Sports has continually owned the majority of the rights, with companies such as Setanta failing to make a permanent incision on their monopoly.

That was until BT entered the market and the telecommunications company are once again set to bid for the 2019-22 package, which is set to be divvied out in February.

However, increased competition may see the expected reduction in investment fail to come about, as Amazon, Netflix and Facebook all weigh up the possibility of becoming involved.

Amazon has already netted the rights to show 37 ATP tennis tournaments in the UK and Ireland, with Facebook beginning to broadcast Champions League matches thanks to an agreement with Fox Sports. The social network is not officially ruling out bidding for English league matches.

The new tender is based around 200 live games per season, up from 168 thanks to Saturday night primetime fixtures, with BT the more likely to drop their investment levels as Premier League football is considered less integral to their USP than Sky.

Thus, there is plenty of potential for big shockwaves to be sent through the footballing world, once the richest league on the planet goes up for grabs and the winner is announced.

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