×

Amazon Scores U.K. Rights to Women’s Tennis

Amazon has moved further into live sports in Britain with the acquisition of rights to show women’s tennis. The e-commerce giant’s Prime Video unit already has rights to stream the major men’s tournaments and the U.S. and Australian Opens in the U.K. and Ireland.

In a four-year deal with the Women’s Tennis Assn. starting in 2020, Amazon will show at least 49 women’s tournaments, including the high-level contests in Indian Wells (California), Miami, Madrid and Beijing, plus the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China. That translates to about 2,000 matches that will be available live and on catchup to Prime subscribers in the British Isles.

“As soon as the opportunity to bid for the women’s tennis rights became available, we couldn’t wait to bring the tournament to Prime Video, giving customers the chance to watch the best in both women’s and men’s tennis all in one place for the first time,” Alex Green, Amazon Prime Video’s European managing director of sports, said in a statement Wednesday. “We are excited to be the home of tennis and will offer viewers the most comprehensive coverage, at no extra cost to their Prime membership.”

Two years ago, Amazon outbid pay-TV giant Sky for British rights to 37 men’s tour events run by the Assn. of Tennis Professionals. That deal includes all the Masters-level tournaments, which are one rung below the prestigious four Grand Slam contests: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

In April 2018, Amazon announced that it had also secured streaming British rights to the Australian and U.S. Opens – in which both male and female players compete – in a five-year deal worth $40 million. However, its coverage during the U.S. Open’s first few days last August drew a torrent of complaints from viewers over picture and sound quality and the inability to watch replays of completed matches. The coverage has since improved.

With the new WTA deal, fans of Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova and other top female players can “watch the best in women’s and men’s tennis all in one place for the first time in the U.K.,” Amazon said.

Added Micky Lawler, the president of the WTA: “We are thrilled that Amazon Prime Video will offer the best of women’s tennis and showcase our premium events and world-class players to millions of fans across the U.K. and Ireland. We have been so impressed by their vision for our sport and are confident the Prime Video team will be a great partner of the WTA.”

Besides tennis, Amazon has won rights to show some English Premier League soccer matches.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation

    Kevin Smith Announces Anime 'He-Man' Series for Netflix

    Kevin Smith surprised audiences at Sunday’s annual Power-Con convention by announcing a new anime “He-Man” series for Netflix. The new series, titled “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” will take place in the Mattel toy inspired world and will focus on some of the unresolved storylines of the classic ‘80s show. Smith will serve as showrunner [...]

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content