OTT & Digital

Report: Amazon adds WTA to UK tennis portfolio

Streaming giant to take over coverage of women’s circuit from BT Sport next season.

by Sam Carp

Report: Amazon adds WTA to UK tennis portfolio

Internet giant Amazon has made its latest play in live sports by securing rights in the UK to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) from next year, according to the Daily Mail.

The UK newspaper reports that staff at BT Sport, which has held the rights since 2013, have been told over email that the pay-TV broadcaster will not be showing the premier women’s tennis circuit after the end of the 2019 season.

If confirmed, the deal would add to Prime Video’s budding portfolio of tennis rights in the UK, which also includes men’s tennis’ ATP World Tour and the US Open Grand Slam.

The Mail’s report added that Amazon’s German arm also bid for the rights to show Wimbledon, but had that offer turned down by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).

The loss of WTA rights would be the latest step back from live sports for BT, which despite wanting to keep hold of its Uefa Champions League coverage has made it clear that it will not be looking to expand its sports portfolio in the near-future.

Amazon, meanwhile, is continuing to throw weight behind its live sports coverage in the UK, and is set to show Premier League soccer games for the first time from next season having secured rights to 20 fixtures a year until 2022.

The online retail firm’s exclusive UK coverage of last year’s US Open received mixed reviews, with viewers complaining about the picture and sound quality of its streams and an inability to record matches, while there were also suggestions that the coverage was difficult to find.