Football: Amazon to boost football coverage in UK via Champions League

Amazon, along with other broadcasters, will share coverage of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League. PHOTO: REUTERS

(BLOOMBERG) - Amazon is nearing a deal to broadcast Europe's top football tournament in the United Kingdom for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, as the tech giant pushes deeper into sports.

United States-based Amazon is one of a number of broadcasters, which also include BT Sport, that are poised to sign a media rights deal with Uefa, the governing body for professional football in Europe, the people said.

The broadcasters will share coverage of Uefa's flagship Champions League competition, as well as the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

The value of the three-year contract may be about 20 per cent higher than the previous cycle, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

That's up from Enders Analysis estimates of €1.4 billion euros (S$2.03 billion), indicating the new package could be worth around €1.7 billion.

Representatives for Amazon and BT declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Uefa couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The deal is a fresh sign that Amazon remains ready to bid for some of the most expensive sports rights to boost demand for its Prime Video platform, having recently opted to pull out of the hotly contested race to stream Indian Premier League cricket matches.

It already shows live matches from the English Premier League and last year secured broadcast rights to most of France's biggest football competition.

For Uefa, the deal will be a boost to its recently expanded Champions League, which last year faced the threat of a rival breakaway Super League backed by some of Europe's biggest football teams.

The Super League plan collapsed in a matter of days following fierce backlash from fans and politicians and Uefa subsequently revamped the Champions League by increasing the number of teams and matches in a bid to make it a more competitive and lucrative tournament.

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