TLE The London Economic

Could we have a third bidder for Premier League rights by 2018?

As if the Premier League’s coffers hadn’t been bolstered enough by Sky and BT bidding wars, a new player could be in the market come 2018 when the rights to air games are next up.

The previous deal secured in 2015 led to a £5 billion cash injection into the EPL which inflated player’s pay packets and led to TV subscribers having to pay two subscriptions to keep up with matches.

But rather than alienating other bidders and triggering a gradual decline of the paid-TV market it has attracted other new boys who want a slice of the action.

This week Amazon Prime aced Sky Sports for ATP tennis rights, and the indications are that it will throw its hat into Premier League bidding next year.

The tennis deal will make Amazon Prime Video the home for practically all top-flight men’s tennis other than the four grand slam tournaments – including the end of year ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena in London – and is thought to be worth as much as £10 million a year, £2 million more than Sky currently pay for it.

Commenting on the result, Dror Ginzberg, Co-Founder & CEO of video creation platform​ Wochit said: “Amazon’s move to snap up UK rights for ATP tennis rights is significant as it is its first move to take on British broadcasters directly for sought after sports rights.”

“Amazon is clearly trying to build its credentials in live sports broadcasting as it has also taken over from Twitter in broadcasting this coming season’s Thursday night NFL games.

“Given that the Premier League’s rights are up for grabs next year too, Amazon could be a player in this bidding war, which means it may even surpass the previous record deal of over £5 billion secured in 2015.”

Good news for Joe Hart, bad news for Joe Bloggs.

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