Amazon Prime Video to lose live Premier League games from 2025/26
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Next TV deal is a win for Premier League fans, but could never be perfect

OPINION: The Premier League's upcoming TV deal means more live matches, one less provider to subscribe to and potential for innovation in broadcasting and streaming. However, Brits may never have live access to every match.

The Premier League is removing some of the restrictions on watching matches live on TV in the UK, but fans will have to wait two more seasons before reaping the benefits.

For years, Britons have struggled to watch their team live each week due to draconian rules surrounding televised matches, unsuitable for the modern era of streaming and multi-screen viewing.

This changes somewhat for the 2025/26 season as part of the new £6,7 billion rights deal announced by the league today.

Excluding the traditional 15pm Saturday kick-off blackout time, all other Premier League matches will be available to watch live on Sky Sports or TNT Sports. This represents a minimum of 267 of the 380 live matches. The current deal only covers 200 live games.

This means that each of the Sunday 14 p.m. kick-offs will be broadcast live, ending the completely absurd practice whereby several matches involving teams who play in Europe on Thursday evenings are not broadcast.

Last weekend, three matches were banned in the UK, including one of the weekend's matches: Liverpool's dramatic 4-3 victory over Fulham at Anfield.

Liverpool v Fulham
Chris Smith / Trusted Reviews

You couldn't watch this game (or the excellent Villa v Bournemouth or Chelsea v Brighton matches) live legally in the UK, forcing Brits who pay hundreds of pounds a year to watch Premier League football - currently via three pay TV services – resorting to bypassing geo-restrictions with VPNs or resorting to downright illegal streams.

The same goes for the many midweek matches that are currently and inexplicably unavailable, as Sky can only choose one of the games per night of action.

Again, these matches do not compete with the Saturday 15pm league and non-league football matches and cannot affect these attendances, which is the long-standing explanation (with some justification) for the cuts power on Saturday.

This is infuriating and completely different from how the Premier League sells rights worldwide as a complete package to a single rights holder. When I'm in the United States, I can watch all 380 matches, just like my friend in France, for example. And we certainly don't pay what Brits pay to keep Sky Sports, TNT Sports and Amazon Prime subscriptions.

These changes largely fix that. During these kickoff windows, fans will be able to view multiple screens to follow all the action live. Perhaps this will open the door to Sky and TNT apps offering multi-screen viewing? This is common in the United States on platforms like Fubo TV. Maybe we'll even have an NFL Redzone style show that follows every game and shows the best moments of each more or less as they happen?

The last bastion of viewing restrictions is the 15pm Saturday slot and I can understand why footballing powers insist that this time is sacred to supporters attending matches across the country.

Would there have been fewer results in sub-zero temperatures to watch, say, Newport County v Barnet in the FA Cup on Saturday if Liverpool v Fulham had kicked off at the same time and was live on Sky? Probably.

However, everything else was unacceptable and it's just a shame we have to wait another season and a half for the new deal to kick in. I just hope Sky and TNT - from then on the only two city ​​games – will not increase prices to account for their additional games.

However, given that both are paying more for the rights and that TNT has taken over the games from Amazon, prices will likely increase.

More games for Sky and TNT

In some ways, reducing the number of providers to two broadcasters is beneficial. Having to subscribe to a third provider to watch both matchdays on Amazon Prime Video was unreasonable – even though millions of people have Prime subscriptions anyway and this essentially opened up access to at least some football high-flying live entertainment at no extra cost.

This new television agreement therefore represents progress for fans who paid to watch only half of the matches. But it's not perfect and probably never will be unless the Premier League abandons Saturday's 15pm kick-off altogether.

I hope that doesn't happen.

The time slot arises from a change in law in the middle of the 19rd century to reduce factory working hours on Saturday noon. Leave work and go to the game. And, before the advent of floodlights, this made it possible to play games in the winter before it got too dark.

No one wants this wonderful tradition to end. Respect must remain and the football pyramid must be protected from the rampant greed of the Premier League and club owners.

For fans, however, this new TV deal represents a more acceptable compromise.

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