Live tennis will return to the UK market later this month with subscription streaming service Amazon Prime Video securing rights to the ‘Battle of the Brits’ men’s exhibition tournament.
The event is being co-organised by seven-time grand slam doubles and mixed doubles champion, Jamie Murray, alongside asset management company Schroders as title sponsor and Amazon Prime Video.
It will be hosted behind closed doors at the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA’s) National Tennis Centre in Roehampton from June 23-28 and will feature Jamie Murray, his brother and three-time grand slam singles champion Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund as they compete in singles and doubles tournaments.
Amazon Prime Video will exclusively live stream the event in the UK and Ireland, with international sports broadcaster Eurosport providing coverage in the rest of Europe. Pay-television broadcaster Tennis Channel will cover the tournament in the US, while its new OTT platform will show the Battle of the Brits in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The LTA said it is working closely with Jamie Murray on tournament preparations, which will be subject to UK government guidelines as set out under the stage three return to ‘behind-closed-doors’ elite sporting events announced on Saturday.
The Battle of the Brits will feature no ball kids or line judges, meaning that sports technology company Hawk-Eye will be responsible for line calls during matches. Jamie Murray said the event opens up the possibility to attempt further innovation in its presentation.
He told reporters: “We’re working on ways to enhance the viewer experience. There’ll probably be some type of coach interaction with the players whether that be with headsets, or potentially the coach might be in the back corner, similar to an ATP Cup-type set up.
“It’s played indoors so the conditions are the same. Maybe there’s the opportunity for commentators to come in and chat through the headsets to the coach or the player during the match so there is that engagement with them.”
The Battle of the Brits will be followed by the first swing of four new British Tour events that will take place over consecutive weeks from July 3-26.
All four tournaments will also staged at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, which has already been approved as an elite training venue and will continue as such during Covid-19. This will allow the organisation time to develop appropriate guidelines for other venues.