Amazon Prime Video, the streaming platform of the global tech and retail giant, has today (February 20) announced the extension of its deal to cover European soccer’s top-tier UEFA Champions League (UCL) in Italy.
The broadcaster will hold the exclusive rights to the top-pick Wednesday evening game from the UCL for three seasons from 2024-25 onwards, as it does during the ongoing three-year cycle (set to end at the conclusion of 2023-24).
From 2024, Amazon will cover 18 live and exclusive matches per campaign and has said it will continue to “feature an Italian team, if qualified, from the group stage to the semi-finals.”
Currently, coverage of UCL action in Italy is split between Amazon and Sky Italia, the country’s dominant pay-TV broadcaster. These deals were struck in late 2020.
Sky also holds rights in the country to the second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League competitions.
Multiple media reports over the weekend have suggested Sky is set to retain its UEFA rights for the next cycle, after a series of meetings held last week.
This would extend to the vast majority of UCL fixtures across the three seasons in question.
In December, Amazon extended its UCL coverage rights in Germany for the 2024-27 cycle.
The streaming service will also hold some UCL rights between 2024 and 2027 in the UK in an agreement that was concluded in July.
Alex Green, managing director at Prime Video Sport Europe, said: “Millions of Prime members in Italy have enjoyed our coverage of the headline Wednesday match and we couldn’t be happier with how they have responded to the broadcast. This is the most prestigious competition in European club football and we will continue to invest and innovate to provide the highest quality experience for our customers.”
UEFA begun its tender process in Italy for the UCL (alongside the second-tier Europa League and third-tier Europa Conference League) in mid-January, with a deadline for offers of February 14.
The 2024-25 season will see a change in the format of the Champions League. The number of teams will increase from 32 currently to 36, and each side competing in the initial group stages will play eight games, up from six at present.
The Amazon extension follows on from multiple other UCL rights tie-ups having been concluded in Europe over the last few months.
Existing partner Canal Plus has renewed in France, Netherlands telecom operator Ziggo has snapped up all rights, while coverage will be split between BT Sport and Amazon in the UK.
In terms of other key territories, Paramount Global, the major US broadcast network, has retained English-language rights to the UCL through a six-year deal starting in 2024.
Rights have also recently been allocated in Austria and Switzerland.
Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images