Amazon continues foray into tennis broadcasting with UK rights to US Open for next five years
Amazon has snatched the UK rights to the US Open in a major escalation of its move into tennis and British sports broadcasting. Three months after its surprise victory over Sky Sports in the race for the ATP World Tour, the e-commerce giant secured exclusive coverage of the final grand slam of the season for the next five years. Eurosport had previously held the pan-European rights and announced on Wednesday a parallel extension of that contract but excluding the UK and Ireland. Despite having agreed a deal to stream Eurosport in Britain on its own platform earlier this year, Amazon chose to carve out the US Open for itself at an estimated cost of £30 million. With Eurosport holding the rights to the Australian Open, French Open and, in part, Wimbledon, Amazon can now legitimately claim to be the only place where tennis fans can watch all four grand slams. Amazon is now the only place to watch all four Grand Slams in the UK Credit: Getty images The US Open deal will fuel speculation of a bid for the UK rights to Premier League football, which go on sale in the coming months, but that would require an exponentially larger outlay. There is major skepticism whether Amazon would be prepared to commit the billions it would take to prise coverage from Sky and BT Sport so early in its move into sports broadcasting. Until last year, the US Open had been shown live on Sky Sports since the channel’s inception in 1991, latterly in a sub-licensing deal with Eurosport. But Sky ended its 25-year association ahead of September’s tournament, which was exclusively on the Discovery-owned network. Sky was also outbid by Amazon for the ATP Tour rights this summer, making next season the last on the channel. The deal was Amazon’s first significant live TV Sports rights move outside the United States, where it was in April awarded 10 Thursday night National Football League games. Amazon declined to comment.
French Open 2012
Many of tennis' greatest players worldwide gather in Paris, France for the French Open from May 22 to June 10.