Amazon Prime Video, tech giant Amazon’s video on demand (VOD) service, has signed a two-season partnership with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the global organising body for the men's tour programme, and its broadcast arm ATP Media.
The VOD service is now an official streaming partner of the ATP World Tour. The deal covers the worldwide distribution through Amazon Prime Video of the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, the annual season-ending tournament contested by the top eight singles players in the ATP World Tour rankings aged 21 and under.
The agreement, which begins with the 2017 event, will give Amazon the worldwide OTT rights, excluding China, and the full exclusive rights in the USA, to distribute the Next Gen ATP Finals, outside of the ATP’s OTT channel, Tennis TV.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we’re doing with the Next Gen ATP Finals, and the way in which we present and broadcast the event is central to that,” said Chris Kermode, executive chairman and president of the ATP. “Our agreement with Amazon will give this year’s inaugural tournament in Milan an international reach in a digital space that is only becoming increasingly important in the world of sport and entertainment.”
Greg Hart, vice president of Amazon Video, added: “We know live sports attracts a passionate fanbase, many of whom are Prime members. We are thrilled ATP has awarded distribution rights to Amazon, showing their commitment to streaming live sports.”
The 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals, held in partnership with the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), takes place from 7th to 11th November in Milan. The ATP also revealed that they would be trialling an ‘electronic line calls only’ officiating system at this year's tournament.
For the first time at an ATP event, the chair umpire will be the only official on court, with 'Hawk-Eye Live' technology used to judge whether shots are in or out. Decisions will be final, with the new system used in place of Hawk-Eye assisted player reviews.