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Premier League live action on Amazon Prime: The key questions ahead of debut

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Amazon Prime Q&A: Ahead of their first live Premier League broadcasts, we answer the key questions, including how to watch more than one game at once, what devices you can use... and what is Amazon's 'X-Ray'?Amazon Prime will broadcast live Premier League football for first time tonightEvery one of the 10 games played this midweek will be screened onlineHere is all you need to know about how and when to watch the coverage 

A major landmark in Premier League broadcasting arrives tonight when Amazon Prime screen matches for the first time.

The internet giant will cover all 10 games played this midweek and that means a significant change in the way football fans will watch their favourite teams.

Here is all you need to know on what to expect from Amazon's offering, including how to watch, what devices you will need, how it will look, and the technological innovations. 

Internet shopping giants Amazon will broadcast live Premier League football tonight

This month could spell the beginning of an age of legal streaming for Premier League games

All 10 Premier League games will be available to watch live this week as Amazon showcase the first set of their estimated £90m deal to screen 20 matches a season for the next three years.

The big draws will be Tottenham's trip to Manchester United on Wednesday, which will mark Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford, as well as the Merseyside derby.

Nine games will be shown on Boxing Day with another on December 27.

Amazon are understood to be celebrating how well it has turned out for them, especially with their documentary of Tottenham's season capturing the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

A view of the online interface viewers will see when they select the game they wish to watch

SEE ALL THE AMAZON GAMES FOR FREE! 

Amazon have spent about £90million to screen 20 Premier League matches a season for the next three years and while they are hoping you will sign up to watch for £7.99 a month — or £79 a year — you can see this season's offering for free.

This is because Amazon are offering a free 30-day trial, which will take in all of their matches in December. They have also teamed up with BT to stream matches to pubs, which will be charged between £100 and £600.

Chairman of the British Pub Confederation, Greg Mulholland, said: 'The cost of subscriptions to Sky Sports is now utterly unaffordable to most pubs and the value they get is nowhere near the cost.

'So I hope the addition of Amazon will finally shake up this market and bring down the cost of showing sport in pubs.' 

Yes. As well as watching the action on smartphones, tablets and computers, subscribers can beam it to their televisions using their games consoles, or via the Prime Video app on Virgin and BT boxes as well as Amazon's Fire Stick

However, some viewers with older Smart TVs will not be able to watch because their models do not have the capacity to support Amazon's live streaming.

Anyone with a TV that isn't compatible will be offered a heavily discounted Fire Stick, according to Amazon.

You can watch up to three games on different devices at the same time with one Amazon account. If you want to watch all the goals go in, there will also be a separate 'Goals Centre' channel, hosted by Match of the Day commentator Steve Bower, that will show all the key moments as they happen.

The show will run for a marathon 12 hours on Boxing Day.

Amazon are giving every game the 'big-match' treatment, whether it's Manchester United v Tottenham or Southampton v Norwich.

As well as a studio in Stratford, each match will have its own presenting team at the ground, either at pitch-side or in a studio of their own.

More than 2,000 people will work on the broadcast, with 350 cameras up and down the country, as well as 70 on-screen hosts, pundits and commentators.

Goals Centre will be shown on each game stream until 30 minutes before kick-off when it will switch to the individual presenting team at each match for its own build-up, half-time show and post-match reaction.

Amazon will screen all 10 games played in this midweek round of fixtures

How Amazon's mobile interface will look for one of the Premier League matches

Again, they have gone all-out. Match of the Day regulars Alan Shearer, Gabby Logan and Jermaine Jenas will be involved — and the return of the legendary Jim Rosenthal.

Peter Schmeichel, Harry Redknapp, Dimitar Berbatov and Glenn Hoddle are the team at United v Spurs with Thierry Henry, Roberto Martinez and Peter Crouch at the Merseyside derby.

Robbie Savage, Dion Dublin, Tim Sherwood and Joe Cole will be among the pundits on Goals Centre.

Fans will hear the familiar commentary tones of Clive Tyldesley, Jon Champion, Conor McNamara, and Guy Mowbray, plus a host of others, with summarisers including Andy Townsend, Ally McCoist, Hoddle, Sue Smith, Kevin Kilbane, and more.

When Amazon made their first foray into live sports at the US Open tennis last year, they received so many complaints that they eventually stopped people leaving reviews.

From more than 1,600 reviews, a whopping 71 per cent gave it one star at an average rating of 1.8 out of five. Their coverage has improved hugely since then with fans praising the level of analysis and use of graphics during their coverage of the ATP Finals.

Much of the disdain during the US Open was to do with the inability to watch replays of matches, buffering and poor picture quality described by one disgruntled fan as 'like going back 25 years'.

Premier League coverage will be in HD but will still rely on a strong WiFi connection, which has led to Amazon holding talks with the UK's leading broadband providers for assurances they will be able to cope with one of the biggest streaming events in sporting history.

No problem this time. Three-minute highlights packages of each game will be available shortly after the final whistle. At midnight, both a 30-minute highlights reel and full re-runs will be uploaded and kept on for a week.

Amazon Prime want to use Spidercams to give viewers a bird's eye view of the action. The radio-controlled camera follows the action at speeds of up to 21mph, suspended at least 10 metres above the ground by four wires connected to each corner of the stadium.

The technology is frequently used in cricket and rugby and was first used in the Premier League in a game between Liverpool and Manchester United in 2017.

The coverage will include what they call their X-Ray feature, which means viewers will be able to follow live Opta match stats, see line-ups and watch key highlights during the match alongside the live coverage. 

In Amazon's own words, 'With X-Ray, fans will be able to track advanced live match stats (via Opta), catch-up on key highlights and moments from the match, and view player line-ups from each club at the click of a button.'

On mobile devices, customers can access X-Ray by rotating their phone into portrait mode. The game will be on and visible at the top of their mobile device, while X-Ray stats appear beneath it. 

FULL LIST OF AMAZON'S  PUNDITS AND PRESENTERS THIS WEEK 

TUESDAY

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth

Presenter: Eilidh Barbour 

Commentary: Guy Mowbray/Jermaine Jenas

Reporter: Mark Saggers

Pundits: Lee Dixon/Michael Owen/Eni Aluko

Burnley v Manchester City

Presenter: Gabby Logan

Commentary: Peter Drury/Jim Beglin

Reporter: Gabriel Clarke

Pundits: Alan Shearer/Roberto Martinez/Nigel de Jong

 

WEDNESDAY 

Chelsea v Aston Villa

Presenter: Darrell Currie

Commentary: Steve Wilson/Andy Townsend

Reporter: Lynsey Hooper

Pundits: Gary Cahill/Eni Aluko

Leicester City v Watford

Presenter: Seema Jaswal

Commentary: Ian Darke/Craig Burley

Reporter: Danny Jamieson

Pundits: Owen Hargreaves/Graeme Le Saux

Liverpool v Everton

Presenter: Gabby Logan

Commentary: Jon Champion/Ally McCoist

Reporter: Gabriel Clarke

Pundits: Thierry Henry/Peter Crouch/Roberto Martinez 

 

Manchester United v Tottenham

Presenter: Jim Rosenthal

Commentary: Clive Tyldesley/Glenn Hoddle

Reporter: Chris Ford

Pundits: Harry Redknapp/Peter Schmeichel/Dimitar Berbatov

Southampton v Norwich City

Presenter: Marcus Buckland

Commentary: Adam Summerton/Kevin Kilbane

Reporter: Kelly Somers

Pundits: Les Ferdinand/Matt Holland

Wolves v West Ham

Presenter: Matt Smith

Commentary: Derek Rae/Sue Smith

Reporter: Charlotte Bates

Pundits: Clinton Morrison/Matt Upson 

 

THURSDAY 

Sheffield United v Newcastle United

Presenter: Catherine Whitaker

Commentary: Conor McNamara/Chris Waddle

Reporter: Darrell Currie

Pundits: Jermaine Jenas/Les Ferdinand

Arsenal v Brighton

Presenter: Eilidh Barbour

Commentary: Clive Tyldesley/Alan Shearer

Reporter: Gabriel Clarke

Pundits: Alan Pardew/Lee Dixon/Eni Aluko

 




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