Amazon will split the rights to the Champions League with BT for the 2024-27 cycle, a period which marks the start of a new format for UEFA’s men’s European club competitions.
It means Amazon has secured live UK rights to the Champions League for the first time, spelling danger for broadcasters who have already felt the tide of US streamers take hold.
Amazon will have the first pick of matches on a Tuesday night through to the semi-finals, with BT retaining the rest of the rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League, according to a PA report.
Amazon already holds the UK rights to 20 Premier League matches per season, but will expand its live offering with this new agreement.
The UK deal is understood to be worth around £500m a year to UEFA and the clubs – £1.5bn in total – an increase of 20 per cent on the current cycle.
It is understood total broadcast and media revenue from this cycle is projected to reach $5bn, or just under £3.7bn, per season, a big increase on the current 3.6bn US dollars a season (just under £2.7bn).
The BBC has secured the rights to show Champions League highlights on Wednesday nights.
Commenting on the move, Tech, Media & Telco Analyst at PP Foresight Paolo Pescatore said the deal was “a win for all parties”.
He said: “While BT Sport loses exclusivity, it provides long term certainty going into the JV with Discovery, providing fans with more games and for less money.
UEFA has been able to increase the value of the rights by opening up the tender and packages to more players. This will not go down with fans if they’re forced to fork out more during these unprecedented times with the higher cost of living.:
“More players means fragmentation, but this should not be a huge issue. Amazon is now establishing itself as a key provider of sports in the U.K. as it continues to steadily beef up its programming. This will help drive Prime subscriptions and sales even further with more live sport through the year”, Pescatore added.
He said the BBC was a “surprising winner”, which will be looking to replicate the success of Match of The Day.
More sport on free-to-air will be a winner by all viewers and makes premium European football more accessible, he said.
Discussions are ongoing between UEFA, the ECA and the European Leagues group over how that revenue will be divided up.
BT, which has held Champions League rights exclusively since 2015-16, announced in May it had agreed a partnership with Warner Bros Discovery on a new joint venture to bring together the companies’ respective rights.
Discovery holds the pan-European rights to the Olympic Games.