Good evening and welcome to a brand new episode of Black Mirror. This one has a cracking synopsis: an American tech giant gets its paws on England’s most popular sport, and all manner of dystopian larks ensue. Well, possibly. We can only surmise the long-term impact of Amazon’s Premier League landgrab but it does feel like 3 December 2019 will eventually sit alongside 16 August 1992 as a landmark in TV coverage of football.
For now, the only thing we can say with certainty is that Amazon Prime will be showing 10 live Premier League matches across the next three evenings. Their all-streaming, all-dancing coverage begins with two games tonight: Crystal Palace v Bournemouth and Burnley v Manchester City. The Guardian pockets, alas, are not quite as chasmic as Jeff Bezos’s, so you’re stuck with just one MBM for the match at Turf Moor.
Manchester City start the match 11 points behind Liverpool, and with a simple edict: to stop playing silly buggers. Pep Guardiola has had the face on for much of the season, and that seems to have transmitted to his players.
City have already dropped 13 points in 14 games, which is almost as many as in each of the last two seasons (14 in 2017-18, 16 in 2018-19). If they are not careful, their title defence will be over before they return to Amazon Prime on 27 December.
Kick off is at 8.15pm, buffering permitting.