Amazon’s beautiful game: why the eCommerce giant is buying rights to live football

Jérôme de Guigné
3 min readAug 2, 2022

Amazon is branching into a new area: sports. And it’s not dabbling with any old sports: it’s chasing the big leagues. It has just made a deal to broadcast the UEFA Champions League football from 2024–2027 in the UK, joining its current deals to broadcast it in Germany and Italy.

And in France, it’s now in its second year of broadcasting Ligue 1, the country’s domestic football championship, in a three-year deal that cost $302m.

Amazon also has prestigious live sport offerings in tennis and rugby in the UK, broadcasting the US Open, Laver Cup and Autumn Nations Cup.

In the US, it has made a huge deal to broadcast NFL American football, the country’s most popular sport: the deal is worth $1 billion per season, and set to last for 11 years.

But it’s soccer that Amazon seems to be investing in most, and it’s not hard to see why: it’s the world’s biggest sport, and the UEFA Champions League men’s final is one of the most-watched live events in the world.

Prime development

As such, broadcasting live sport brings a huge new audience to Prime: in 2020 Amazon’s Premier League football in the UK reportedly led to a massive 35% growth in Prime subscribers.

According to figures from Statista, Amazon Prime is now the second most popular video-on-demand service with subscription for live sports.

The model requires viewers to be a member of Prime, and to pay an additional monthly subscription — for Ligue 1 in France it’s €12.99 a month.

New Prime subscribers is only half of it, though: the other boon is advertising.

Classic ads

The advertising model is simple: ‘classic advertising’ during ad breaks. Proof that the old ways still work.

Each match in Amazon’s Ligue 1 coverage has 360 seconds of Classic Ads plus 96 seconds of Sponsor content over four ad breaks.

Naturally, Amazon is charging advertisers six-figure sums.

In return, advertisers will be given weekly/monthly reports detailing their impressions, completion rate, unique reach and frequency.