The Premier League has revealed it will consider media rights bids from online platforms such as Amazon, Twitter and Facebook.
This Friday (11 August) the 2017/18 Premier League season kicks-off whereupon England's top flight will enter the penultimate year of its three-year deal with pay-television broadcasters Sky and BT Sport.
Discussions for the next rights cycle, which would commence with the 2019/20 season, are already underway and comments made by the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, indicate that the world's richest football league is considering partnering with online platforms to live-stream its games.
Speaking to the Times, Scudamore said: “We envisage anybody, really, being able to come along and bid for those rights.
"We would need some distribution criteria and to make sure it was readily available across platforms and everything else, but as long as it was widely available and distributed properly, we wouldn’t rule those out.”
While Scudamore's statement gives little away, he did not rule out the prospect of the league having more than two broadcast partners. This would fit with the league's ambition to increase the number of fixtures broadcast in the UK from 168 to 190.
News of a potential digital broadcast partner for the league follows closely on the heels of Amazon's victory over Sky for the live broadcast rights to the ATP World Tour tennis over five years. A digital partner would also address the issue of declining audience numbers for live Premier League games on both Sky and BT.