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Amazon, Facebook “not ready” to bid for EPL rights

Premier League launches its latest auction of domestic live broadcast rights today

A leading football finance expert has predicted that Amazon and Facebook are not yet ready to take part in the latest auction of domestic live rights to Premier League matches.

Bids for 200 games a season, between 2019 and 2022, must be submitted today (9th February). If any are left unsold there will be further rounds of bidding next week, with a result expected on 13th February.

The 200 games, up from 168 games a season under the current three-year deal, are broken up into seven packages, designed to appeal to different buyers.

There has been feverish speculation that the tech giants may look to enter the fray and wrestle the rights away from Sky and BT.

However, Kieran Maguire, a football finance expert at the University of Liverpool, told the Press Association that he does not believe the tech giants are yet ready to enter the market.

“It makes no sense for them to bid domestically as the UK is insignificant when looking at global strategy,” said Maguire. “There is some potential in overseas markets but there is still an issue of monetising subscribers – even Netflix hasn’t quite managed that yet.”

Roger Bell of the financial analysis firm Vysyble agreed with Maguire and said the domestic market appeared to have “reached maturity”.

“Sky’s economic performance has been challenged by the gravity of the current deal. With a more open relationship between Sky and BT we don’t expect to see the previous hikes of 70 per cent.”