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Amazon takes WTA Tour UK rights from BT Sport

Internet giant Amazon has acquired exclusive UK rights to the WTA tennis tour from 2020, SportBusiness Media understands, taking the property from pay-television broadcaster BT Sport.

The acquisition means Amazon now has rights in the UK to both the men’s and women’s tennis tours.

It landed the men’s ATP World Tour 1000 and 500 rights in 2017 in a five-year deal from 2019 to 2023. Pay-television broadcaster Sky Sports had previously held those rights.

Amazon also holds the UK rights to the US Open tennis major in a five-year deal from 2018-2022.

The company last year unsuccesfully bid for rights to the Wimbledon tennis major in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the 2019 to 2022 cycle.

Amazon has, additionally, entered the UK football rights market with its acquisition of a Premier League rights package for 2019-20 to 2021-22.

It is thought Amazon’s sports-rights strategy remains in a test phase that may or may not lead to a more aggressive approach in future.

Incumbent BT Sport had covered WTA in the UK since 2013. Under its 2017 to 2019 deal, it held live rights to 52 events per year as well as digital rights.

The loss of the WTA property comes as BT Sport reportedly sealed a deal to acquire UK rights to wrestling promotion WWE from next year.