Amazon Prime Launching TV Service That Allows Viewers to Mute Sports Announcers and Hear Stadium Noise

Fans of the Premier League who are Amazon Prime Video subscribers will get a new treat for live broadcasting in the United Kingdom the next three seasons. Features of the service could change the way sports viewers watch games on TV in the future.

The Premier League made an announcement of the partnership on its website.

"Amazon Prime Video were awarded the rights to Package F of the Premier League's live broadcasting rights in the UK for the three seasons 2019/20 to 2021/22," the statement read. "This package comprises of 20 live matches per season from one Bank Holiday and one midweek fixture programme."

It also allows viewers an option of listening to game commentary or atmosphere noise from inside the stadium. Amazon Prime users will get instant access when it's unveiled Tuesday night, and football fans have been giddy on Twitter.

On Amazon Prime you can choose to listen to the commentary or the stadium atmosphere

— Peter (@petergw97) December 3, 2019

Stats, highlights, line ups, stadium audio.

Amazon Prime are stepping up the game #PLonPrime

— 🦎 (@ShameIessFC) December 3, 2019

Turned off the commentary so it’s just stadium atmosphere on #BURMCI Thank you Amazon! The picture is UNREAL too. Hope Amazon get more games after seeing this!

— Adam (@adamattvcy) December 3, 2019

Maybe Amazon should just show all PL fixtures in future.
This is how footie should be: here are all the matches, choose the one you want to watch.
Great picture quality, and you can choose to listen to commentary or stadium atmosphere.

— Poz Str8 (Still @🏠) 🏆 (@poz_str8) December 3, 2019

The service kicks off with these matches beginning on Tuesday:

December 3

  • Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth
  • Burnley vs Manchester City

December 4

  • Chelsea vs Aston Villa
  • Leicester City vs Watford
  • Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
  • Southampton vs Norwich City
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs West Ham United
  • Liverpool vs Everton

December 5

  • Sheffield United vs Newcastle United
  • Arsenal vs Brighton and Hove Albion

The three major sports in the United States—NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball—have exclusive TV rights, as do major college football and men's college basketball. This means Amazon Prime could lobby for a seat at the negotiating table when those contracts expire in the future.

Some sports have their own network, like MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and golf. The Olympic Channel debuted in 2016 to coincide with the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. Some college conferences have their own networks, the Texas Longhorns have their own network and many schools have tie-ins to regional networks.

However, with ratings declines for some regional networks, there could be new media outlets on the horizon. Amazon Prime, with its launch in the Premier League, could just be the beginning of their footprint that could grow.

Amazon Prime did not say whether or not it would branch out from Premier League coverage, but it has other worldwide opportunities to find its way into sports that might otherwise have an international audience, like cricket, rugby and other sports.

Should the streaming service work its way into popular sports of America without major pro sports—perhaps softball, college baseball, women's basketball, track and field, hockey and tennis—then it could have a possibility to grow its footprint in the sports media market to step into big-league negotiations.

If that were ever to happen, it could mean LSU fans in New York watching the Tigers play in Baton Rouge against Alabama, and they could hear the crowd of Tiger Stadium and not the CBS announcers. Or baseball fans could watch their favorite teams with the stadium noise loud and the commentators muted.

It might be a long way from reaching American sports, if it even makes it that far. But with its upcoming launch in the UK, fans are already excited about it.

Premier League
The Crystal Palace fans celebrate after Jeffrey Schlupp of Crystal Palace scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on December 03, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images