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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Amazon take over ATP Tennis rights from Sky

Amazon take over ATP Tennis rights from Sky

Amazon has signalled its intention to enter the UK sports market with the acquisition of the rights to the ATP men’s tennis tour.

The internet giant has snapped the rights to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Masters 500 events from around the world, which includes tournaments in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Indian Wells and Shanghai, starting from 2019, after the current deal with Sky ends. The end of year ATP World Tour Event in London, currently shown free-to-air on the BBC, is also at risk of moving to Amazon Prime Video, with the ATP currently in the process of bundling various tournaments into new, single broadcast rights packages. Both BBC and Sky rights deals with the ATP end in December 2018.

It will make streaming service Amazon Prime Video the home for all men’s elite tennis outside of the four majors. In the process it will take Sky out of the tennis market – the broadcaster recently revamped its sports portfolio into thematic channels – tennis was excluded and can be found on the broadcaster’s mixed sports channels.

According to The Guardian, Amazon paid £10 million for the contract, with Sky failing to match the £8 million paid for the current contract that expires in 2018.

Sky has been gradually moving away from men's tennis in the past year. The broadcaster's strategic change became obvious when tennis was not given its own Sky Sports channel in the recent rebrand.

Rights to the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open are unaffected by Amazon's move and will continue to be offered by traditional broadcasters.

All eyes will now turn to the renewal of Premier League rights early in 2018 with the possibility Amazon may put in a bid for one of the smaller packages.

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