Amazon makes soccer foray in Premier League streaming push

INTERNATIONAL - Amazon.com Inc. bought a package of live broadcasting rights for English Premier League soccer, the first foray by a U.S. tech giant into Europe's most lucrative sports league.

Amazon will show two full rounds of matches per season, comprising 20 games, for three years starting in 2019, the Premier League said in a statement Thursday. The games will be available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. at no extra cost to users, Amazon said.

While only a handful of games, Amazon's acquisition is a further sign of its push into live sports broadcasting as a way of luring subscribers to its Prime membership service, which includes video streaming and fast online grocery shopping. The move is also a potential threat to pay-TV incumbents Sky Plc and BT Group Plc, who broadcast the rest of the Premier League games in the U.K.

“The main thing is to drive uptake of Prime,” said Ian Whittaker, a media analyst at Liberum in London. “The rights are being used to lock people in to Prime and get them to spend more generally.”

Manchester City

Amazon has already bought rights to ATP tennis and NFL football games as part of its live

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