Last week saw an intriguing twist in the TV rights battle for Premier League football. Online streaming service Amazon Prime broke the stranglehold of Sky Sports and BT Sport by winning the rights to show 20 games a sea from the 2019-22 Premier League season.
It is a marquee move for the company and the league, with this a first. Unfortunately for the curious, the cost of Amazon’s 20-game package has not been revealed. But considering one of the same packages sold for around $120 million (£89.5 million) it is safe to assume Amazon paid the same or more for theirs.
For many, it came as a huge surprise. But one man who predicted this is Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani.
Back in August last year, the Italian had this to say about the future of TV rights for football to The Telegraph:
“Try to imagine if all the Premier League games were now available, easily accessed by match or by season or by team via Amazon or Netflix. The audience could be much bigger. The single price per client could be lower; the total amount would still be bigger.
“Netflix has 105 million clients worldwide, Amazon is huge as well. If we look at Sky, the clientele and subscription, I think you see the consumer is tired of paying for a bundle. To pay £70 for 200 channels when maybe they just want to watch sports or football, and maybe some movies or TV series. That has been shown clearly on the entertainment side because Netflix has broken the market on pay-TV with entertainment. Can this happen with sport? I think so.”
Of course, it is an area that the Leeds chairman knows well. His company Eleven Sports currently deals with the rights to show televised sport. It made headlines last month after beating Sky Sports to the rights for La Liga football.
But his vision of the future involving online streaming becoming a big player in the business is certainly something of an impressive premonition.
Leeds United fans have not been overly-enamoured with Radrizzani, who has struggled to turn around the club’s fortunes on the pitch since taking over from Massimo Cellino. However, off the pitch, he has done some great business with the club and his prediction over Amazon certainly makes him something of a visionary.
Hopefully, such trend-setting ideas continue to come into his head and he can implement them successfully at Elland Road over the years to come.