Leeds United owner: 'Digital future for football rights'

Leeds owner: 'Digital future for football'
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Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani predicts that digital services such as Netflix and Amazon will be the future of broadcasting football matches.

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has claimed that digital services such as Netflix and Amazon will be the future for the broadcasting of football games.

The UK TV rights to screen the Premier League are among the most lucrative in the world of sport, with Sky and BT currently paying a combined £1.7 billion every season.

That amount is expected to increase further still when the next set of rights go to auction later this year, and speculation is rife that Amazon, who recently poached the rights to ATP tennis from Sky, will enter the bidding.

"Because of the digitisation, I think what we could see in the next few years is a huge change in the consumption of media," Radrizzani, who completed his Leeds takeover earlier this summer, told The Telegraph.

"It's started already. Try to imagine if all the Premier League games were now available, easily accessed by match or by season or by team via Amazon or Netflix. The audience could be much bigger. The single price per client could be lower; the total amount would still be bigger.

"Netflix has 105 million clients worldwide, Amazon is huge as well. If we look at Sky, the clientele and subscription, I think you see the consumer is tired of paying for a bundle. To pay £70 for 200 channels when maybe they just want to watch sports or football, and maybe some movies or TV series.

"That has been shown clearly on the entertainment side because Netflix has broken the market on pay-TV with entertainment. Can this happen with sport? I think so."

The Premier League has previously pledged that at least half of all games - at least 190 - will be made available for broadcast in the UK beginning from the 2019-20 season.

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