Boxing Day: the big day of the Premier (for which Amazon paid 100 M), in check by omicron

The Boxing Day it is that day marked in red in British homes. In addition to the fact that every December 26 is the festive day in which children fill the streets with boxes – hence its name according to some theorists on the matter -, keeping the toys they carried inside, it has been for 161 years the most romantic evening in the Premier League. The one in which fathers, mothers, children and grandparents go to the stadium to see their team dressed in hats and Christmas paraphernalia, and the one that concentrates the most business for the Premier League in fewer hours. In 10 hours, the 10 games of the day. And Amazon recovering its millionaire investment in rights with more and more home orders.

Many clubs hang the ‘sold out’ sign and, for those who do not go to the field, the meeting in front of the television to follow the day with the family is one more tradition of British Christmas. For this reason, among other aspects, Jeff Bezos paid 100 million euros per year to get a package of 20 games for the 2019-2022 cycle. Among them, those of Boxing Day, perfectly placed on the calendar to be a magnet for new subscribers to the e-commerce giant. According to the British audiovisual regulator, the Prime Video service increased its customer base by 35% in the first year with football in its offer.

Now, Premier, clubs and Amazon tremble by the virulence of the omicron variant in the British Isles. The intention of many fans of sell your tickets for the matches and last weekend six games were postponed. Twitter is full of messages from fans offering tickets, some with travel included. This past Wednesday, more than 78,000 people tested positive for coronavirus, which was a 50% increase compared to the previous week.

The Premier suspends matches due to the covid and its second has a problem with the vaccine


On the last day, half of the matches were postponed due to covid outbreaks. Boris Johnson’s government has not yet made a decision on what it would mean admit 54,000 spectators to Anfield, or 52,000 in St. James Park for the meeting between the new Newcastle – from Saudi Arabia – and Manchester United, in these circumstances.

Footballers get 5% of TV

A cancellation of the day would mean a hard blow for British football, including the three lower divisions, managed by the English Football League (EFL), which also have their own Boxing Day. In total, 53 soccer games are played that afternoon on the islands.

The impact of a possible suspension of the day would also affect the footballers’ pockets. And it is that, in consideration for having to miss a vacation —As it happens in the rest of the major European leagues—, the players perceive a 5% of the audiovisual contract and another 5% of transfers between national teams.

The agreement, in force for decades, is signed between the Premier and the British footballers union, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), led by former Real Mallorca CEO Maheta Molango.

Could we see something like this in Spain? LaLiga, for now, already recognized that he was studying replicate in our country the Amazon package with Boxing Day. In fact, the audiovisual ‘tender’ for the next cycle already included three exclusive days that would be marketed separately from the rest of the lots. These, finally in the hands of Movistar +, will be distributed between November, December and March-April.

Photo: Photo: EC.
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From the main soccer players union (AFE), which ensures the rest of the players and that by agreement prevents games from being played on those dates, there is a change of ideas, and after the pandemic the inclusion of a Christmas day to square calendars.

Five years ago, yes, the thinking was very different. The then AFE manager, Xavier Oliva, recalled that a decrease in the players’ vacations should be compensated ‘a posteriori’ during the season.

For his part, from Mediapro, its co-founder Jaume Roures explained that – as the holder of the LaLiga rights at that time – they did not propose a formula similar to Boxing Day. “The audiences would be low”, he anticipated. Time will tell if a San Esteban with football would bring higher returns or not to Spanish football, as brought by Sheffield FC-Hallam FC of that December 26, 1860.

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Boxing Day: the big day of the Premier (for which Amazon paid 100 M), in check by omicron

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