October 16, 2021

why Amazon has (already) succeeded in changing football in streaming

The Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 channel has been broadcasting for almost a month. And she achieves an almost flawless broadcast. The room for improvement nevertheless remains enormous.

Sunday August 1, evening of great premiere for Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1. That day, the multinational broadcast the shock between PSG and Lille, kickoff of a 2021/2022 season which it won the essential of the broadcasting rights for the French championship (those that Mediapro / Téléfoot had abandoned along the way).

We could have feared a complicated baptism (remember RMC Sport) but the meeting was offered without a hitch.

A month later, Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 is still there. In recent weeks, the platform has offered a total of 32 matches (8 per day) and there is not a shadow of a reproach on the horizon. Despite its status as a new entrant in a highly scrutinized market (because it is very popular), Amazon is apparently armed enough to stand up to the comparison with historical channels (Canal +, beIN Sports). And succeed where Téléfoot has seriously failed.

The (dated) interface of Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 // Source: Screenshot

What goes with Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1

The editorial proposal of Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 is clear: for € 12.99 per month (in addition to the Prime subscription), the football fan has access to 8 of the 10 matches of each day – in full (multiplex of their choice , Sunday at 3 p.m.) and without any advertising. To ensure quality coverage, Amazon has recruited big names – whether in comments, presentation or consultant positions (there is even Thierry Henry, who accepted a golden bridge for Sky Sports in 2014). This is a guarantee of quality, in addition to ensuring a certain legitimacy for the chain, which loves to provide platforms on the edge of the field (for more proximity to the stadium).

In doing so, the pre-match and the post-match are interesting to follow (and without advertising!), With a nice highlighting of the atmosphere – found – in the stadiums. For her or him, it is a real happiness. The concerned will even be able to discover new images: post-match training sessions, cameras closer to the players (in the corridor leading to the locker room for example), more live interviews, among other sequences than we see more rarely.

On outright broadcasting, we can highlight the very good production, dynamic as it should (we do not miss anything of the essential actions) – knowing that Canal + is recognized in this field (thanks to Jean-Jacques Amsellem). The display quality is also at the rendezvous: despite the absence of a 4K stream, the HD definition is of excellent quality (the image even seems beautiful as on Canal + and beIN Sports, with an equal definition) . There is also quick access to replays (including pre-match and post-match).

Finally, we have not deplored any bug since the launch of Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1: no black screen, no screen freezes, no unwanted interruptions… Sunday, August 29, Lionel Messi made his grand entrance with the PSG jersey on the back (facing Reims). And the channel brilliantly withstood this crash test, when we could have feared a fatal heavy crowd.

The Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 end screen // Source: Screenshot

What’s wrong with Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1

Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 imposes barriers for which some aficionados are not prepared. Those less tech savvy today can quickly lose track of how an application works. As a bonus, as we pointed out in a dedicated article, registering for Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 is far from easy: there is the double subscription side, but also the dusty Amazon interface.

For regulars, it is easier to go to Darty to subscribe to Canal +, than to install an application. The list of compatible devices is immense (the FAI boxes are), but, for some, pressing the ‘4’ button on their remote control (Canal +) remains a reflex that is a little too anchored. In short, Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 imposes a new routine that could be prohibitive for a less informed public. A simple solution would be to offer a linear flow – read: a channel – on all the boxes on the market (example: channel 67 on that of SFR).

The Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 category is logically integrated into the Amazon Prime Video platform, which also gives access to films and series (the catalog changes every week). We have to admit that we are far from Netflix or Disney + ergonomics. Too dated, the interface is not a model of practicality and is not very pretty. It also lacks features: a goal alert on other matches broadcast at the same time (this is the case on RMC Sport) and an automatic channel change when the broadcast is over (rather than a simple message). Technically, Amazon still has areas for improvement.

Finally, there is the issue of broadcasting in 4K: Canal + has been offering sporting events with this quality for a few years now (Formula 1, football, etc.) while major competitions – Euro, World Cup – also benefit from it. It is a shame to see Amazon Prime Video Ligue 1 deprive itself of it, at least for its most beautiful posters (that of Sunday evening). It’s not a technological issue, rather a cost issue: some films are in 4K and HDR on its Prime Video platform. And that would be another great development for the future.

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