Amazon Prime, the online streaming behemoth, intends to discontinue tennis coverage on its platform. As their digital distribution contract expires at the end of 2023, the company has decided not to bid on any extension contracts.
Amazon Prime, also known as Amazon Prime Video or simply Prime Video, is a popular international subscription-based digital video-on-demand streaming platform. Amazon.com Inc, an American multinational technology company, first introduced it in 2006. Recently, due to its accessibility and a massive amount of content ranging from movies to sports, the platform has become popular among people all over the world in recent years.
In 2018, Amazon achieved the official rights to digitally distribute and live-stream tennis events in the UK from the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Tennis TV, another popular streaming service, became available on Prime Videos the same year. As a result, with an entry barrier of only £9 per month, Amazon Prime quickly became a go-to medium for tennis fans.
Amazon Prime extended the contract with ATP and WTA at the end of 2021 to preserve the distribution rights till 2023. But a recent report from The Times recently revealed that Amazon doesn’t plan to extend the distribution rights contract beyond 2023. This decision was heavily influenced by their inability to show the US Open. As such, the platform will stop live streams and digital distributions of tennis from 2024.
Sky Sports now has the opportunity to reclaim the rights to distribute tennis in the United Kingdom. Before Amazon bought the rights to the ATP and WTA tours in 2018, the popular British subscription channel was the official distributor. But they still provide a dedicated cable channel for tennis in Australia, Germany, and Italy. While no statements have been made by the officials, there is a strong possibility that they will regain their rights very soon.
Amazon wants to focus more of its attention on football now, at present. They recently acquired the Premier League and Champions League distribution rights in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, there have been reports that Apple TV is interested in obtaining tennis distribution rights. This would see a new contender among already established multiple online broadcasting mediums in the UK.