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Football on grass

Facebook to stream Premier League games in Asia

Football on grass

Facebook to stream Premier League games in Asia

Social networking platform Facebook has recently announced that it has won a contract to broadcast Premier League football in South East Asia.

In the past, Premier League broadcasting rights have been dominated by the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport, but it would seem that some new players are now announcing themselves as unlikely contenders.

Facebook has signed a broadcasting deal reported to be worth £200m to show Premier League games in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand on a three-year contract starting from the start of the 2019-2020 season. Furthermore, The Times has reported that Facebook saw off competition from some heavy hitters to win the deal, with Fox Sports Asia and BeIN Sports failing in their bids to win the broadcasting rights.

It is believed that sports is clearly in the plans of the social network, as it hired Peter Hutton, the CEO of Eurosport to lead its negotiations to win contracts for live sports streams across the world, which is now bearing fruit after agreeing this lucrative deal.

The company has previously live streamed games from other footballing competitions, including the Spanish top division La Liga, and the football league of Facebook’s homeland, the MLS. However, the deal to bring one of the world’s most watched competitions to a market where British football has amassed a huge following may be the icing on the cake for the social site.

The announcement comes just a matter of weeks after Amazon was awarded the rights to broadcast Premier League games in the UK. The company, mainly known for its online marketplace, won the rights to show 20 matches a season, also starting from the beginning of the 2019-20 season, on its video streaming service – Amazon Prime.

Amazon will be broadcasting the first round of midweek fixtures in the run-up to Christmas – a big part of the festive season for Brits – as well as every game on Boxing Day for three years.

The current chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, who will be leaving his position this year, has been intrigued by the prospect of having games shown in this way, and has previously voiced ambitions to work with the likes of Netflix and YouTube. He described Amazon as an “exciting new partner”.

With the likes of Amazon and Facebook changing the way in which Premier League football is being shown around the world, could this see the way fans watch the game change too, or will traditional sports broadcasters have something to say about the new competition?

Alan Littler

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