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Facebook aims for Premier League streaming as it hires Eurosport veteran to drive deals

Written by  Jan 22, 2018

Facebook attempted to sign the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket to exclusive streaming rights for £433m on September 2017.

It fell well short of the eventual selling price of £197bn, which was put in by Rupert Murdoch's Star India. The contract lasts until 2022.

Bids are currently being taken for the rights to Premier League football from 2019 until 2022. The competition is expecting to net around £6bn for the TV and digital rights and Facebook are expected to bid. Amazon is also rumoured to be submitting an offer. Companies have until 9 February to enter the bidding war.

Premier League football matches are broken up into seven different packages that anyone can bid on - five with 32 matches and two with 20 matches. Sky has held the majority of games for the past 25 years and have five packages in the current deal. BT bought the rights to the remaining two.

According to the Guardian, two packages have been specifically created for digital consumption in an effort to attract bids from Facebook, Amazon or Google. If Facebook is successful, the matches will be shown exclusively online.

Facebook has more than two billion active monthly users, and with football being one of the most popular sports globally, it's a natural fit. The different leagues across the world, including the Premier League, make it an appealing starting spot for Facebook to launch into sports coverage.

Hutton and Facebook have been quiet on the deal. Hutton is expected to speak more once his obligations to Eurosport are complete.

It is not yet known how Facebook would show the games or how much it will cost to watch, if anything.

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