Why Jeff Bezos will be the real winner from Raducanu’s tennis success

Across the Atlantic, it has been a different story. 

In March, Amazon paid $1bn (£700m) per year until 2023 for the exclusive rights to Thursday broadcasts of the National Football League (NFL).

The question is whether such a move will act as a precursor to a wider – and more intense – offensive on sports rights in Europe.

In the last few years, Amazon has appeared content with gradually loosening its purse strings, rather than making a blockbuster intervention that will dominate the sports TV market. And in many instances these deals are done on the cheap because the company is moving into markets where Sky is beating a retreat.

In Germany, Amazon and the sports streaming service DAZN sewed up future live rights to the Champions League. Amazon also bought its first package of Champions League games in Italy, when it took 16 matches per season between 2021 and 2024.

“Amazon has had a very pragmatic approach to [sports TV rights] and so far their spending has only been going in one direction, and that is up. Across countries they have been increasing their exposure and buying more important rights,” says Francois Godard of Enders Analysis.

“Will [the US Open final] change their view in the UK market? No. Tennis works very well for Amazon, not because it triggers subscription sales for Tennis coverage, but because it is a big event that draws awareness of the broader Prime service so people will buy more products.”

READ  Who Gives A Crap and Canva help lead corporate philanthropy into a new age

Amazon may also find itself edging towards a strategy of collaboration rather than competition, a shift that is already a defining part of its approach to entertainment and drama.

Good Omens, a six-part series starring David Tennant based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, was made by BBC Studios for both the British broadcaster and Amazon.

While Amazon is unlikely to join forces to buy sports rights with any rival, it may get more comfortable partnering with free-to-air broadcasters to help drive publicity for its live coverage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *