Amazon seals ATP rights deal in UK and Ireland, adds US partnership

The Association of Tennis Professionals, organising body of the men’s world tour, has today (Friday) confirmed a rights deal with Amazon for the UK and Ireland, along with a partnership with the internet company for the US market.

Amazon Prime members in the UK and Ireland will have access to 37 ATP World Tour events on Amazon Prime Video from 2019 to 2023. Amazon will have full exclusivity, outside of Tennis TV, to all World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, 12 of each of the 500s and 250s, and the Next Gen ATP Finals. 

Amazon will also become the ATP’s exclusive third-party pay-television partner for the season-ending ATP Finals at The O2 in London, the Queen’s Club Championships, and the Eastbourne International, with the latter two starting in 2018.

In addition to live coverage, Prime members will have on-demand access to completed matches, highlights, tournament review shows, press conferences, and additional original content. The deal was first reported in August, but was confirmed today.

Pay-television broadcaster 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.

In the US, Tennis TV, ATP Media’s direct to consumer streaming service, will be provided on a subscription basis via Amazon Channels for Prime members on a non-exclusive basis starting in 2018. Subscribers to the Tennis TV service via Amazon Channels will be provided with the ability to watch over 2,000 live matches from the ATP World Tour, as well as a wide variety of on-demand content including classic matches and highlights.

These two deals follow the announcement in September that Amazon Prime Video has worldwide streaming rights, excluding China, and the full exclusive video rights in the US, outside of Tennis TV, to distribute the Next Gen ATP Finals until the end of 2018.

Amazon Prime Video streamed all 16 Next Gen ATP Finals matches during the inaugural men’s 21-and-under showcase, which took place from November 7-11 in Milan.

Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, described the new deals as a “pivotal moment” for the sport. Mark Webster, chief executive of ATP Media, added: “To be able to bring a household name and global brand such as Amazon to the world of tennis is hugely exciting and the move from traditional linear TV to an OTT offering shows tennis remains at the cutting-edge of global sports media.”

It was reported this week that Amazon has also acquired exclusive rights in the UK for the US Open grand slam tournament. Amazon is said to have secured the rights in a five-year deal, from 2018 to 2022, for a fee of about $40m (€34m), or $8m per year.

The rights were previously held by international sports broadcaster Eurosport, which sublicensed the rights on to Sky in the UK.

UK news agency the Press Association said Jim DeLorenzo, Amazon Video’s head of sports, declined to comment on the reports, saying it was too early to talk about future ventures.