SBD/December 14, 2017/Media

Nice Service Game: Amazon Grabs Global Streaming Rights To AVP Through '20

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Amazon has obtained the global streaming rights to the AVP pro beach volleyball tour through '20. Beginning May 3 with the Huntington Beach Open, Amazon Prime Video customers inside the U.S. will be able to see every match live, except for either the men’s or women’s final of each tour stop. NBC Sports continues to own the exclusive domestic rights to one final match at each stop. Outside the U.S., Amazon Prime customers will see every match. Amazon paid an unknown rights fee, two sources familiar with the deal said. “Beach volleyball is just a super exciting sport that’s popular with fans around the world,” said Amazon Head of Sports Jim DeLorenzo. “And AVP is obviously the premier pro volleyball organization. For us, the way we look at any content, whether you look at sports or non-sports, is working backwards from our customers. ... We feel this is content our customers are going to find really compelling and exciting.” Since entrepreneur Donald Sun bought the AVP in '12 and began rebuilding it, the tour had retained its digital rights and streamed action on its own platform. Talks with Amazon began at a Seattle event about 18 months ago, Sun said, and the partnership was right. “This past year our live stream numbers were great, and we just hope we can translate that to an Amazon audience,” Sun said. Amazon’s foray into sports is best defined by its NFL "TNF" rights package, but the AVP is its second deal in recent months with an international audience in mind. The Amazon-owned Twitch platform yesterday struck a short-term partnership to live stream up to six NBA G League games per week for the rest of the '17-18 season. Amazon this summer also outbid Sky for exclusive ATP tour rights in the U.K. An NBC Sports spokesperson said the net is “extremely pleased” with its limited arrangement with AVP, and the additional rights did not fit its programming plans.
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