ATP and ATP Media named Amazon Prime Video an official streaming partner of the ATP World Tour. The new deal covers the worldwide distribution of the Next Gen ATP Finals through Amazon Prime Video. Starting this year, Amazon will have worldwide OTT rights (excluding China), and the full exclusive rights in the U.S., to distribute the Next Gen ATP Finals, outside of ATP’s OTT channel, Tennis TV. The new event, held in partnership with the Italian Tennis Federation and the Italian National Olympic Committee, will take place from Nov. 7-11 in Milan. The deal, which expires at the end of '18, includes a commitment from Amazon to show all Next Gen ATP Finals matches produced by ATP Media. ATP has also produced three documentaries that will air on Amazon Prime Video (ATP World Tour)
Premier League clubs expect digital companies such as Amazon and Facebook to bid for streaming rights in next year's auction, ManU Exec Vice-Chair Ed Woodward revealed, according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. Competition from such companies "would pose a big threat to Sky and BT Sport's hold over the domestic TV rights due to their massive financial power, and could also see another big rise in the clubs' broadcast income." The existing three-year rights are worth a total of £8.6B ($11.7B) and clubs "expect the biggest increase to come from the overseas rights," which are worth £3.5B ($4.8B) over this period. Asked about the interest from the digital companies, Woodward said, "Absolutely I think they will enter the mix. Anecdotally, there was incredibly strong interest in the last cycle. We are hearing that around the Premier League table and we are also hearing that from a European perspective in terms of interest in the Champions League and Europa rights. In the wider picture, you have to look at what is happening elsewhere. There are not any clear European sales to these kind of partners at the moment. But if you look at the interest that Facebook and Amazon had in the bid for the IPL [Indian Premier League] rights, it sounded like very big numbers for the Indian cricket" (LONDON TIMES, 9/21).
Sky Sports and the Gaelic Athletic Association announced a five-year partnership that will see a total of €3M ($3.6M) invested in three grassroots initiatives. From '17-21, Sky Sports will join forces with the GAA to encourage more kids to participate and get involved in Gaelic Games by investing in training equipment, visiting the Super Games Centers to meet participants and contribute to activities in SGCs around the country, supporting the annual Youth Forum and leveraging its links to world-class elite sportspeople (Sky Sports).
U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley officially referred the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky to the Competition Markets Authority. The Phase 2 investigation is on the grounds of "media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards media public interest" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 9/21).
Obstacle race and endurance brand Spartan will stream exclusively on Facebook's new Watch platform thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The partnership will feature live streaming of men's and women's obstacle races through the '17 Spartan season (Spartan).