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Report: Amazon in talks over Eight Nations rugby rights

Ecommerce giant eyes live sports content to boost Prime sign-ups pre-Christmas.

7 September 2020 Tom Bassam
  • Autumn international rugby union rights up for grabs with Sky deal expired
  • Eight Nations could introduce mic’d up coaches or in-game interviews

Technology giant Amazon could add to its UK sports rights portfolio by securing live English Test rugby union for its Prime Video over-the-top (OTT) platform, according to the Daily Mail.

Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports’ long-term deal for England’s November internationals is expiring and Amazon has reportedly opened talks regarding the Eight Nations tournament which is taking place instead of the traditional autumn tours.

The Six Nations organising body, which oversees the annual northern hemisphere tournament that takes place earlier in the year, has been put in charge of the rights tender process for the new event and is also in talks with other broadcasters.

According to the Mail, Amazon is interested in a one-off, multi-million-pound deal for November in order to align with a strategic push to attract new Prime customers before Christmas.

The preeminent ecommerce company undertook a similar strategy last year with its live top-flight English soccer content, airing a whole round of Premier League fixtures in the first week of December and the days after Christmas.

Organisers have reportedly suggested broadcast innovations such as in-game interviews and putting microphones on coaches in an attempt to make the rights contract more attractive.

In a statement issued to the Mail, the Six Nations said: ‘Six Nations are busy finalising the arrangements for the Autumn competition including match operations, fixture scheduling and broadcasting. An announcement will be made in due course when all elements are finalised.’

Amazon could add to its UK sports rights portfolio by securing live English Test rugby union for Prime Video


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