Man U boss tips Amazon and Facebook to bid for EPL rights



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    Amazon and Facebook will “absolutely” enter the bidding war when the next round of television rights come up for tender, according to Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

    Premier League football has been shown on Sky Sports since the league’s inception in 1992, with BT Sport – which owns Champions League and Europa League as well as some Premier League rights – entering the market three years ago.

    The current Premier League deal, which runs through to 2019, is worth APS5.14billion ($A8.8 billion) – an eye-watering amount even for what many consider to be the most popular league in the sport.

    Viewing habits are changing, though.

    The English Football League has this season allowed clubs to stream its games overseas through the ‘iFollow’ platform, while from 2019 that service will be available on home soil for midweek games from 2019.

    Amazon has started live-streaming NFL games this season and in some overseas countries it is commonplace for fans of sports to be able to purchase subscriptions to only watch their team, should they wish.

    Woodward can see change coming to his sport too, and not just for the Premier League.

    “Absolutely, I think they’ll enter the mix,” he said of the internet giants.

    “I think anecdotally there was strong interest in the last cycle.

    “We are hearing that around the Premier League table but we’re also hearing that from a European perspective as well, in terms of interest in the Champions League and in Europa rights.

    “But I think the wider picture you have to look at what is happening elsewhere at the moment because obviously there aren’t any clear European sales to these kind of partners at the moment.

    “We are going to see an increasing engagement from those organisations and it is going to be increasingly important to digitally engage with fans.”

    Woodward was speaking to investors after United announced their financial results for the year, having achieved a record operating profit of PS80.8 million ($A140 million) and record earnings of PS199.8million ($A340 million) before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

    United also announced record-breaking revenue of PS581.2 million ($A994 million) for the year ending June 30, 2017.

    It is the second successive year the Red Devils have earned more than half a billion pounds and comes despite not being involved in the Champions League and stuttering home sixth in the Premier League.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • September 22nd 2017 @ 10:58am
      Waz said | September 22nd 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      If only Fuss were still with us. He was calling this years ago.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 24th 2017 @ 5:29pm
        Stevo said | September 24th 2017 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

        Errr, has Fuss disappeared altogether, like off the face of the earth? Was it Fuss or Fussette ?

      • Roar Guru

        September 25th 2017 @ 10:12am
        Grobbelaar said | September 25th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        And we have to wait another six years, by which time, there will be something new on the scene to speculate about.

    • Roar Guru

      September 22nd 2017 @ 3:25pm
      Rick Disnick said | September 22nd 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

      This will greatly be dictated by the UK’s ability to implement their new Digital Infrastructure Fund.

      Bandwidth will be an issue with current infrastructure levels in the UK, just like it’s the same issue here at present.

      No doubt we’ll see most sporting Tv rights eventually on digital platforms, but I question by 2019?

      2022-2025 would be a reasonable timeline to expect most of the rights to have shifted. Facebook & Amazon will take a small share I expect in 2019, but no where near a majority due to stability issues.

    • September 22nd 2017 @ 3:40pm
      Nemesis said | September 22nd 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

      Anyone with modicum of interest in business would’ve already been aware of this. It’s already happening.

      It’s just a matter of seeing which traditional TV operator will bankrupt themselves in pathetic attempts to remain relevant by throwing irrational money at sports rights – particularly in Australia.

    • September 22nd 2017 @ 4:07pm
      M Robert Aslaksen of Uganda said | September 22nd 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

      I wish it happens so soon, its very expensive for some of us to access to pay TV stations to watch our teams play, more especially in East Africa, its truly expensive, let’s wait and see if it happens then we shall welcome it in abundance

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