Amazon steps up tennis offering with global Next Gen OTT deal
Amazon, the online retail giant, has announced a deal with ATP Media, the broadcast arm of the men's professional tennis series, to become the official streaming partner of the ATP World Tour.
Under the terms of the initial one-year agreement, the Next Gen ATP Finals, the new season-ending tournament for players aged 21 and under, will be distributed worldwide through the Amazon Prime Video subscription service.
Amazon will hold worldwide OTT rights (excluding China), and the full exclusive rights in USA to distribute the Next Gen ATP Finals, outside of the ATP’s own OTT channel, Tennis TV.
The Next Gen debuts in Milan from 7 to 11 November, featuring the best seven players aged 21 and under in the ATP Rankings, plus a wild card.
The Amazon-ATP Media deal, which expires at the end of 2018, includes a commitment from Amazon to show all Next Gen ATP Finals matches produced by ATP Media. The ATP has also produced three documentaries that will air on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon recently secured the UK rights to the ATP World Tour in its biggest sports content deal outside USA. Top-tier ATP World Tour Masters 1000, second-tier 500 events and the end-of-season World Tour Finals in London are set be shown via Amazon Prime from 2019 after it secured a deal worth up to £10 million ($13.5 million) per year.
Amazon is said to have outbid incumbent UK rights-holder Sky, which did not offer as much as the £8 million per year it is paying under a five-year deal that expires at the end of the 2018 season.
Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said of the Amazon streaming tie-up: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we’re doing with the Next Gen ATP Finals, and the way in which we present and broadcast the event is central to that. Our agreement with Amazon will give this year’s inaugural tournament in Milan an international reach in a digital space that is only becoming increasingly important in the world of sport and entertainment.”
Greg Hart, vice-president of Amazon Video, added: “We know live sports attracts a passionate fan base, many of whom are Prime members. We are thrilled ATP has awarded distribution rights to Amazon, showing their commitment to streaming live sports.”