The Premier League’s debut on Amazon Prime has been a success. In an age were everything can be on-demand and you can watch whatever you choose with a push of a button, Amazon Prime has taken the Premier League kicking and screaming into 2019.
The sheer simplicity of picking the game you want to watch by scrolling through the game menu is brilliant. Add in the ability to watch on multiple devices at one time and the service provided by Amazon trumps Sky Sports and BT Sports or at least comes very close. The only way to make the service better is for the ban on 3 pm kickoffs to be ended and Amazon airing all of those kicks off on-demand every weekend.
Of course, some fans may not be too excited about Amazon’s foray into football. Attending my son’s U7s football training session on Tuesday night, the number of dads complaining from the U8s team training on the pitch next to us were numerous. The complaints were silly with many of the fathers unhappy with the 7:30 pm and 8:15 pm kickoffs. It was the kind of complaining that fans stuck in their own ways do.
There was a time when Sky Sports began showing Premier League games in 1992 and fans surely moaned about its cost and other issues at the time. Now, a generation later, Sky Sports is ubiquitous with Premier League football. Something Amazon Prime could be one day. Sky’s Monday Night Football is one example (taken from the USA’s NFL coverage on Monday nights) of a big change Sky made. Now, it’s commonplace.
While there have been protests by fans over the selling of rights to Amazon and others unhappy with the coverage, the simple fact that being able to select the games you want to watch makes the service a winner.
The Express reported that some of the complaints Amazon received were over the hiring of pundits such as Michael Owen. The simple fact that someone would cancel their subscription or not watch football due to Owen’s punditry is silly. I, myself, have no love for Owen as a Liverpool supporter, yet even his pedantic calling of games doesn’t turn me off of watching football.
A monthly subscription of Prime is £7.99 which is a fraction of the price that Sky Sports and BT Sports charge. If the streaming service took on all of the league’s games, would fans be upset? Surely, they would as you cannot make everyone happy all the time.
Earlier this year, it was announced that 5.86 million UK residents subscribe to Prime. The number is roughly what has been reported in 2019 for BT Sport subscribers.
From a personal point of view and being a (gasp) Millennial, I found Amazon’s coverage to be just as good as both Sky Sports and BT Sports (I subscribed to all three). If the same coverage had been shown on Sky Sports or BT Sports, it would have been roughly the same.
The coverage can only get better with more games being shown and the subscription service will have the chance to show games once more later this month. So, can Amazon Prime succeed with Premier League football?
Like everything, the subscription service will need time to win people over. Sky Sports needed time in 1992 and today it is a product that many British sports fans can live without.