Technology companies are becoming increasingly interested in broadcasting live sports as a way to drive huge numbers of people to their services. It's previously been rumoured that Facebook and Twitter are considering bidding for the live rights to next year's World Cup, and now comes word Facebook might bid for Premier League rights.
The social network hasn't detailed its plans, or even confirmed that it will bid. But it's refused to rule it out.
All it would say was that it would continue to work together with the Premier League. "The Premier League is a very important partner of ours," said Dan Reed, Facebook's global head of sports partnerships. "We work with them to help them reach their audience. It would be premature to speculate on how we might approach that. But they are a very important partner. That speaks for itself. We continue to have an ongoing relationship with the Premier League."
These comments follow speculation that both Facebook and Amazon are eyeing bids for the next Premier League rights. Ed Woodward, Manchester United's vice-chairman, told investors last week that both tech companies were interested in the last round of bids for the Premier League rights from 2016-2019. He predicted both will enter the next auction, which starts in a matter of weeks and covers the period from 2019-2022.
Sky has the lion's share of live Premier League broadcast rights, with BT holding some. Losing these to a California-based tech companies would be a disaster for both firms.
Source: The Guardian