Amazon has outbid Sky to win the exclusive UK rights to the ATP Tour. That means Amazon Prime Video will be the only place in the UK to watch elite men's tennis matches, except for the four grand slams.
Amazon has previously won streaming rights to sports in other countries. But this is the first major sports deal it's secured for the UK. Outbidding Sky is also a major coup for the relative newcomer.
The deal grants Amazon exclusive live rights to all top-flight tennis, except for the four grand slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open). It will also mean Amazon screens the ATP World Tour finals, which take place at the O2 Arena in London.
Amazon is understood to have bid £10 million a year, which is more than Sky's current £8 million-a-year deal. Sky's five-year deal expires next year.
Sky now faces massive competition from digital players like Amazon. It recently revamped its sports offering, making its channels sports-specific. It now lets customers subscribe to only the sports they watch, making it cheaper for sports fans (though it's still more expensive than Amazon Prime Video or Netflix).
There's no dedicated tennis channel on Sky. Instead, the sport will be shown on one of the mixed sports channels (Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Arena).
Sky also recently lost the rights to the US PGA golf tournament.
Amazon also offers live sport from Eurosport, as part of its recent addition of live TV channels.
Sky is under fire from Facebook and Twitter, both of which are becoming more active in the TV space. Facebook will reportedly launch its own TV service in the coming weeks, while both it and Twitter are said to want the rights to the next World Cup.
Source: The Guardian