Amazon has signed a deal to stream 20 matches from the U.K.’s top soccer league, the Premier League.
The agreement is the most important one yet for Amazon, as not only are Premier League rights the most important sports rights in the U.K., but Amazon’s deal is exclusive, meaning that the 20 matches it will stream will only be available online, not on TV.
Amazon has streamed “Thursday Night Football” games in the U.S., and recently extended that deal through the 2019 season. However, that deal is non-exclusive, with the games also airing on broadcast TV, NFL Network and on mobile devices through Verizon.
Amazon has been particularly aggressive in obtaining sports rights in the U.K. In April the company secured exclusive rights to the U.S. Open tennis tournament, bringing three of the four “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments to its U.K. subscribers (only Wimbledon will air on TV there).
Sports have also served as a testing ground for advertising on Amazon. While Amazon does not include ads in its Prime Video entertainment programming, its live sports coverage typically includes ads during the regular pods. As Amazon expands its sports portfolio globally, it is likely its advertising business will grow accordingly.