Amazon and Facebook is understood to be interested in snapping up the worldwide rights to stream the UK Premier League, a move that could hurt Optus who currently holds the contract in Australia.
The big US online group has also been sniffing around Formula One on an effort to build customers for their Amazon Prime video streaming service.
On Friday Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said he expected both Amazon and Facebook to bid in the next round of Premier League rights sales after they missed out in the 2016 to 2019 round, which was sold to BskyB and BT for £8.4bn.
Woodward said: “I think they will enter the mix… there was incredibly strong interest in the last cycle.
“We are hearing that around the Premier League table and we are also hearing that from a European perspective in terms of interest in the Champions League and Europa rights. I do think we are going to see an increasing engagement from these and we would welcome the interest.”
Securing live Premier League rights exclusively in 1992 was key to the very survival and subsequent success of BskyB. These rights are viewed as prime content for newer media companies that are seeking to build their businesses on subscriptions.
Optus secured exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the English Premier League for three seasons kicking off in August 2016.
The deal was reportedly worth more than $50 million and includes “live broadcast coverage and digital rights for broadband and mobile”.