This week (3 December through 5 December) fans will be able to choose which Premier League match they wish to watch from the full slate of gameweek fixtures as all matches will be available on Amazon Prime. This will be the first of six gameweeks to be broadcast on Amazon over the next three years and with this extended offering no doubt many households will be split on which match to watch with up to six matches being simultaneously broadcast. Whilst match-choice is an interesting debate*, this blog thought that it would also be interesting to examine a potential viewer benefit that could be derived from a by-product of the broadcast, namely the viewing data available to Amazon.
As anyone who has watched Match of the Day will know, broadcasters have traditionally attempted to determine the running order of Premier League fixtures based on the matches that fans most want to watch (i.e. teams higher up in the league, most goals etc.). Over the next three years however, Amazon will show six full gameweeks and therefore it will have access to data which clearly shows which fixtures and which teams are the most popular amongst Amazon Prime subscribers. By understanding the viewing data, there is an opportunity to tailor future broadcasts and offer the games and teams that fans actually want to see rather than showing the games that one thinks viewers will want to see – which are invariably, to use the mandatory parlance, Top of the Table clashes and Relegation Six-Pointers. Of course, it is also possible that data from the Amazon matches will simply reinforce the current practice… but either way, it is an interesting time for football, sport and broadcasting and this blog looks forward to enjoying even more Premier League football over the holiday season.
*for those interested this blog will be choosing Wolves vs West Ham on the basis that it is pre-disposed to proper nouns beginning with ‘W’.