It has been four months since the FA Premier League announced the results of its tender for three year broadcast rights starting next summer. Five of the packages were sold (four to Sky, one to BT), but two were withdrawn as they did not attract sufficiently high bids (one subsequently went to BT).
The two unsold packages were to simultaneously broadcast all league games across two match days each. BT increased their per-game bid for one package but allowed Sky to drop their per-game price and still win a larger share of the spoils than they currently hold. Amazon were today awarded one of these packages, although no revenue information has (yet) been published.
Those of us who watch our football in a league which was disenfranchised by wealthy cartels, such as the one English and Welsh clubs enjoy, have been loitering in the wings looking for signs that the broadcast revenue bubble was set to burst.
With BT reigning their spend back and Sky soon to be sold, the FA Premier League need to attract competition from new media players like Amazon. Two competitors is enough if both are highly motivated to win substantial rights, but, as we know in Scotland, two is not sufficient is one loses interest.
We can hope the Premier League took a bath for the rights sold to Amazon as they continue to tart the remaining package around tech media players. The worst-case scenario (for those of us on the outside) is that the England and Wales broadcast rights have plateaued. Even a modest reversal in the next auction, due early 2021, would bring about am unprecedented, and unaffordable, revenue drop.