Big scary monsters are in the news this week. First it was the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, growling down at us from the cinema screen.
And then came another giant today – Amazon, hunting for new purchases like a T-Rex with an empty stomach.
Amazon’s eyes lit upon the Premier League and now a deal has been done.
Twice a year, the company will stream 10 league games on the same day – starting with Boxing Day 2019.
So while it can now say that it’s showing 20 matches per season, you’ll need to have a few screens to watch them all live, even if they are spread out during an afternoon, and into the evening.
This idea of screening all the matches from a single day is taken straight from the playbook of American sport, so perhaps no surprise that an American company has bought the rights.
And, compared to the prices paid for the more familiar broadcasting deals, they probably haven’t paid that much.
Amazon has declined to release a figure, but BT says that it paid £90m for a similar three-year package.
It would be surprising if Amazon paid a significantly different amount.
So what does this all mean?
For one thing, it’s worth noting that these two new packages didn’t sell when they were first offered, because nobody came up with a strong enough bid.
So they haven’t exactly flown off the shelves.
Amazon, you suspect, struck because they sensed a bargain.
:: Amazon is new player in live Premier League TV rights deal
For another, there’s one good reason that Amazon have bought these rights – and it’s nothing to do with the love of football.
Image: Amazon’s 20 Premier League games will be available to Prime customers only
The company puts great store by encouraging more and more people to sign up for its Prime package, which involves paying an annual fee in exchange for next-day delivery on purchases, as well as television and film content.
And these matches will only be available to people with a Prime account.
It was the same logic that led Amazon to sign up the Top Gear team – an eye-catching deal, that can be marketed heavily and bring in new subscribers.
Expect a big campaign to persuade you to spend most of Boxing Day watching football with the family, which may delight some and horrify others.
Amazon gets to put its toe in the water, which has led plenty to speculate that, next time round, the company will return with plans to buy a huge chunk of rights. Right now, I doubt that.
The billions of pounds that it would take to buy the British television rights simply wouldn’t return an investment for them, Google, Apple, or any other global tech player.
What might attract them more are the international rights.
That’s also the area with the greatest scope for growth and, by coincidence, today was also the day when the Premier League announced it was changing the way that the revenue would be divided up from its global deals.
More will now go the big six clubs, who have successfully argued that they provide the panache and stardust that attracts viewers, from Thailand to Tajikistan.
That’s a decision with the potential to shake top-flight football even more profoundly than the arrival of Amazon.
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It may not be long before international revenue is greater than domestic income, and our big clubs will take a greater slice of that improved largesse. The rich will get richer – the gap may well widen between the top six and the rest.
The Premier League will have to be careful that the world’s most watched league does not risk becoming too predictable.