Sport

Woodward 'welcomes' Facebook and Amazon interest in streaming rights

Woodward 'welcomes' Facebook and Amazon interest in streaming rights”

Premier League clubs expect digital giants such as Amazon and Facebook to bid for streaming rights in next year's auction, Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, has revealed.

The Premier League's current TV deal sees Sky Sports and BT Sport each taking a portion of the broadcast rights, while the latter also show exclusive Champions League football in the United Kingdom alongside other traditional national outlets across Europe.

But Woodward says there is a growing possibility that the next TV negotiations will include some new names with innovative ideas in how to reach the increasingly-diverse audiences across both the United Kingdom and global markets.

Amazon paid £37m to live stream the 10 Thursday night National Football League games this season.

"I think there's been a lot of press about this already and the rhetoric isn't just coming from clubs, the rhetoric is coming from UEFA and also the European Club Association", Woodward, recently appointed onto UEFA's Professional Football Strategy Council, said.

He said: "We are going to see an increasing engagement from these organisations and it is going to be increasingly important to digitally engage with fans".

"We think we can be complimentary to partners like this".

UNITED have announced a record revenue of £581million with a hefty £39.2m profit... and they are projecting even more next year.

United won the EFL Cup and the Europa League during Jose Mourinho's first season in charge and investment in stars such as Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan saw staff costs rise by £31.3m to £263.5m - an increase of 13.5 per cent.

Earlier in the call Woodward told investors: "We believe we have improved the balance and depth of our squad [in the summer transfer window] and are well placed to challenge for trophies". "If you finish top you get 40%, finishing fourth you get 10%".

"We are hearing it round the Premier League table now and from a European perspective as well in terms of the Champions League rights and Europa (League)".



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