Amazon takes ATP tennis rights from Sky
VOD News | On 03, Aug 2017
Amazon has taken a major leap into the sports arena with a new deal to poach the rights to ATP tennis from Sky.
Sky has long held the rights to the majority of mainstream sports, including the ATP World Tour – the globe-trotting series of mens’ events that decides each player’s world rankings. Now, though, Amazon has outbid the pay-TV broadcaster.
The deal marks an ace serve from the streaming service, as it seeks to differentiate itself from rival Netflix. Earlier this year, Amazon launched Amazon Channels, a way to build a customised bundle of standalone subscription streaming platforms for Amazon Prime members – including a discounted subscription to Eurosport. Now, Amazon Prime Video will have sport in its own right, streaming almost all major men’s tennis matches, except for the four grand slams (Wimbledon, the US, Australian and French Open). The deal includes the Masters 1000 and Masters 500 events, such as Monte Carlo, Madrid, Miami and Shanghai, not to mention the end-of-year ATP World Tour finals at The O2 in London. It is reported by The Guardian to be around the £10 million mark, an overhead lob to the £8 million bid from by Sky.
While the move may come as some surprise to UK viewers, it continues Amazon’s sports acquisitions in the US, where it inked an agreement to stream 10 Thursday-night NFL games this season. It also owns the rights to Bundesliga audio commentaries in Germany, as part of its Amazon Music service. Sky, meanwhile, is having to stump up more cash on football, as its competition with BT TV for Premier League rights continues to heat up. Indeed, as part of its recent rebrand of Sky Sports, which moved from numbered channels to themed channels dedicated to particular sports, tennis has been bumped down to one of its channels dedicated to mixed sports.