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Amazon gets ten French Open night sessions for domestic broadcast

New schedule addition added to Prime Video’s domestic pay-TV broadcast package.

13 October 2020 Tom Bassam

Getty Images

  • FFT confirms night sessions to run from first week up to quarter finals
  • Announcement comes after men’s final draws biggest French TV audience since 2013

Internet giant Amazon’s domestic French Open broadcasts will be bolstered with exclusive coverage of the ten newly-announced night sessions at the tennis grand slam.

In July 2019 it was confirmed that Prime Video had acquired the pay-TV package for the French Open, signing a three-year deal which begins in 2021, with public service broadcaster France Télévisions keeping its free-to-air (FTA) rights. Now, the tournament organiser has confirmed that it is adding ten night sessions to the schedule from next year, which only Amazon subscribers will have broadcast access to.

In a statement, the Roland Garros organisers said: ‘From Monday of the first week until the quarter-finals (Wednesday of the second week), ten evening sessions will be scheduled on the Philippe-Chatrier Court and broadcast exclusively in France by Amazon Prime Video.’

The night sessions will start at 9pm local time and spectators are guaranteed to see that day’s headline men’s or women’s match, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed. The move by the French Open leaves Wimbledon as the only of the four grand slam tournaments without a night session.

The announcement about next year’s tournament comes after the 2020 French Open men's singles final drew its best average domestic television audience since 2013. An average of 3.77 million viewers tuned in to watch Rafael Nadal win his 13th title at Roland Garros on FTV 2, the public service broadcaster’s main channel. The Spaniard’s straight sets victory over Novak Djokovic scored an audience share of 27.1 per cent.

Those figures were a marked increase in average viewers compared with the 2019 and 2018 men’s finals, which were both won by Nadal and averaged 3.3 million viewers with respective market shares of 29.7 per cent and 26.2 per cent for FTV 2.

In Saturday's women's singles final, FTV 2 attracted 1.8 million average viewers as Iga Swiatek became the first Polish player to win a grand slam. That audience average was roughly the same as the 2019 women’s singles final and a slight increase on the 1.78 million people who watched the 2018 final.

According to FTV2, a total, 38.1 million viewers saw at least one minute of the tournament, which is eight million more than in 2019 and a record since 2013.

Amazon’s domestic French Open broadcasts will be bolstered with exclusive coverage of the ten newly-announced night sessions

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