How did Amazon Prime Video fair on its Premier League debut?

By Michael Constanti

Last night was historical for the Premier League. Amazon broadcasted their first two football matches through their Prime Video streaming service. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the online giants.

10-man Crystal Palace’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth was the first ever match broadcasted through their streaming service. This was soon followed by current Premier League champions Manchester City’s 4-1 thrashing over Burnley at Turf Moor.

Despite action on the pitch, Amazon suffered with many issues and complaints from viewers off the field. Amazon’s broadcast was described as jittery and buffered for many angry fans as they expressed across social media.

Amazon were also accused of not actually showing the games live, with around a 45 second delay of their broadcast. Every second of football is unmissable and everyone wants to watch a goal the second is scored in the stadium, hence disappointment.

The brand-new streaming service of the Premier League just felt mostly like a copy and paste of what we have all been used too for the past few seasons. Commentators and presenters were all recognisable from other Premier League broadcasters such as; BBC, BT Sport and Sky Sports. All that was new was the addition of a few minor features which didn’t make up for a delayed stream at times. 

As the content provided by the Premier League hasn’t changed, Amazon had a lot more potential to create a unique viewing experience for fans which they aren’t used to. It was hoped that they would have launched in a similar way to BT Sport did in 2013 when they challenged Sky. With such a large digital imprint, Amazon Prime Video were a bit of a let-down for many.

On the plus side, these matches were easily accessible and free to watch by the majority of fans. All that was required by the viewer, was signing up to Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial, and then cancelling it any time before the end of the month. 

One feature which viewers loved was the choice they were given to turn off match commentary and stadium atmosphere. This went down well with fans and is something BT and Sky don’t currently offer making it a first for a British football broadcaster.

Another positive of watching Prime Video online, was the highlights and bonus content produced during every match for viewers. 20 videos were created surrounding Burnley vs Manchester City, this included the full match replay, individual highlights for each goal and pre/post-match interviews.

Putting first day teething issues to the side, the delivery of their live broadcasted Premier League matches can only improve with time, and they would be hoping to match their high-quality off the field delivery service which they are notable for. They will continue to broadcast 20 live games for the next three seasons, so they have plenty of time for improvement.

Newcomers Amazon will be showing every single boxing day fixture live through their Prime Video service. As well as these, the online giants will be screening six more games tonight, and two final mid-week games on Thursday night. These include Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and the Merseyside Derby.

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