Amazon close to securing UEFA streaming deal in the U.K. - report

Note: As of July 1, numerous outlets are reporting the deal is now confirmed, with BT Sport and Amazon sharing UEFA coverage rights in the U.K.

Amazon may be reeling in another sports streaming deal, this time with the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) in the U.K. The company is one of several companies – including BT Sport – prepped to sign a media rights deal for coverage of UEFA’s Champions League soccer competition, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The three-year contract also includes coverage of UEFA’s Europa League and Europa Conference League, from 2024-2027. Those leagues are the second and third tiers of UEFA’s soccer competitions.

The value of this package, Bloomberg said, could be worth around $1.8 billion (1.7 billion euros), with UEFA increasing the deal’s value by 20%.

According to the Daily Mail, the new price tag reflects UEFA expanding the Champions League from 32 to 36 teams. The organization is foregoing the exclusive broadcast model to expand its streaming audience.

BT Sport currently offers exclusive live coverage of UEFA games in the U.K. It will retain those rights until 2024 – paying $487 million (£400) per year.

Whereas in the U.S., CBS Sports has the English-language broadcast rights for UEFA games through the 2023-24 season – with every game made available on Paramount+. Univision is the Spanish-language U.S. broadcaster for the matches.

This potential deal would help pad Amazon’s sports coverage portfolio. Amazon Prime will become the exclusive home of NFL’s Thursday Night Football, beginning in September. The company is also in the running to secure NFL’s Sunday Ticket, along with Apple and Disney. Soccer-wise, Amazon Prime hosts 20 live Premier League matches per season in the U.K.

Other distributors are also getting into soccer streaming. FuboTV is offering four UEFA Nations League soccer matches this summer via pay-per-view. Those games are part of fuboTV’s six-year deal with Fox Sports to stream select UEFA matches.

Apple, meanwhile, secured this month a 10-year deal to stream Major League Soccer.

Though sports distribution deals are rising in popularity, some organizations are tossing their own hats into the streaming ring. FIFA, for instance, launched in April FIFA+, which promises over 2,000 of archived content for free.

The NFL plans to roll out NFL+ sometime next month. Not much is yet known about the service, but it will reportedly feature live local games that can be streamed via mobile and tablet devices.