For a long time the industry has been bracing itself for the entry into the market of the tech giants, known as the FAANG’s – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. But it was Amazon which made the first move, albeit a modest one, by securing one of the lesser Premier League rights packages from the most recent tender process.
“I think the big tech giants were nervous to overstretch themselves,” Simon Leaf, a sports lawyer for Mishcon de Reya, said. “We saw several years ago that BT were very acquisitive and now they seem to be in retreat with the loss of Italian football and NBA basketball. They’re on a bit of a losing streak and the tech giants have seen that.”
There are much-trumpeted reasons why increased competition in any marketplace is a good thing but in the immediate term it has led to more expense for the armchair football fan. “In the short term it’s bad news for the customer,” Leaf said. “Particularly with Amazon, if they want to watch Premier League football they’ll need a subscription. But if Amazon can make the model work and stream for free, in the long run it will work out better for the customer.”
Read the full article in the Guardian here.