Amazon ousts Sky for UK rights to ATP World Tour – report

Internet company Amazon has secured its first major sports rights deal outside its home US market by acquiring UK rights to professional men’s tennis circuit the ATP World Tour, according to The Guardian.

The UK newspaper said Amazon has held off competition from incumbent rights partner, pay-television broadcaster Sky, with an offer worth as much as £10m (€11.2m/$13m) per year.

Sky currently has a deal for all ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and World Tour 500 series events, including the World Tour Finals. The deal runs for five years, from 2014 to 2018. The Guardian said Sky is understood not to have matched its current rights fee of around £8m per year in seeking to renew its contract.

In May, Amazon started offering live television channels, including sports broadcaster Eurosport, via Prime Video in the UK for an extra fee. Prime Video had previously only offered only on-demand films and television programmes in the UK, but people are now able to subscribe to channels without paying for a bundle.

The ATP World Tour deal would mark Amazon’s latest significant move in the sports rights market. In April, it was confirmed that Amazon Prime would be the NFL American football league’s exclusive partner to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thursday Night Football to a global audience across devices during the 2017 season.

Amazon Prime Video will stream the 10 Thursday Night Football games broadcast by US networks NBC and CBS, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network, once again securing the league's tri-cast model of broadcast (NBC/CBS), cable (NFL Network), and digital (Amazon Prime Video) distribution.

The Thursday Night Football games will be made available to Amazon Prime members worldwide, on the Amazon Prime Video app for televisions, game consoles, set top boxes and connected devices, which includes Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices and online. The TNF games will also be available to Prime Video members internationally in over 200 countries and territories.