Amazon’s foray into soccer broadcasting in the U.K. has received a mixed response with praise for technological innovation advance balanced by complaints over streaming issues.
Amazon won the rights to show 20 English Premier League (EPL) matches per season from 2019/20. The EPL professes to be the most watched games alliance on the world, with a potential group of spectators of 4.7 billion individuals.
All 20 of Amazon’s games are being shown on its Amazon Prime Video service and will be concentrated into two game weeks — from December 3 to 5 and December 26 to 27.
Tuesday night’s fixtures between Burnley and Manchester City, and Crystal Palace versus Bournemouth, marked Amazon’s first official entry into the prized EPL. And they were met with a mixed response.
The U.K’s. Independent paper noted “buffering at awkward occasions” and “discourse out of match up.” The paper added that the deferral to the feed was regularly as long as a moment behind the activity, which could irritate watchers who were presented to two distinct streams or objective warnings on their cell phones.
On Tuesday night, Amazon simulcast two matches and the Independent expected that Wednesday night’s six-coordinate offering could mess real problems. A few fans took to Twitter to express their misery.
— Jake Heasman (@jakeheasman) December 3, 2019
In the early 1990s, Sky revolutionized English soccer coverage with brash on-screen graphics and attempts to use technology to analyze games. And in 2013, BT Sport entered the EPL fray with a big studio, more technical analysis, and big money spent on high-profile commentators.
The Guardian newspaper said Wednesday that Amazon appeared to have gone for a much less flashy debut.
“The branding was extremely subtle, the studio sparse and largely undecorated, the Fifa 20-esque graphics inoffensively styled, the introductions straight to the point,” said reviewer Jonathan Liew before adding, “The entire operation appeared to have been calibrated to cause as few qualms as possible.”
Amazon has promoted the matches as “free-to-air,” which is true in the sense that there is a 30 day-trial available. Beyond that, U.K.-based soccer fans will pay the Prime membership fee of £7.99 per month, or an annual fee of £79 ($103).