Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 7 No. 149


Amazon Prime Video will use its coverage of this month's Queen's Club Championships to pursue a younger audience.

Sky Sports' decision to "walk away from tennis next summer" has left a gap in the market which Amazon Prime Video promised to fill by "chasing a younger audience brought up in the live-streaming generation," according to Kevin Mitchell of the London GUARDIAN. Amazon Prime "begins its pursuit of a younger constituency" on Monday, when the Queen's Club Championships "bring together the tournament's strongest ever field." It was "boosted by the addition on Tuesday of Novak Djokovic -- with a place left open still for the return of Andy Murray." Rafael Nadal "initially entered but pulled out" to "recover from his exertions at the French Open." While the journey from subscription TV to the "myriad platforms of tablets, smartphones and other gadgets is not a big one," Amazon Prime is coming to the market "with a fresh approach it hopes will hoover up fans who long ago found alternatives to traditional mainstream outlets." Amazon Prime Video VP/Europe Jay Marine said that tennis "appealed as the perfect sport to add value to Amazon Prime's overall product." Marine said, "Tennis is a very broad sport and has a large fan base. People already care about tennis. They love it. We want to help grow that audience, especially with the younger demographic, who are used to streaming." As for "embellishing its coverage to appeal to a younger audience," Marine said, "We'll see over time. We're always looking at ways to make it better but the thing is the game. What you don't want to do is come up with gimmicks, because that gets in the way of the game, the action itself" (London GUARDIAN, 6/13).

The FA and ITV "tested new adtech that will enable regional advertisers to virtually augment themselves over existing in-stadium perimeter ads during match broadcasts," according to John McCarthy of THE DRUM. During the friendly between England and Costa Rica at Elland Road in Leeds, the perimeter ads at the stadium were U.K.-specific. However, during the broadcast, Virtual Replacement Technology "delivered new augmented regional ads on a feed going to the Americas and on another being fed to Asia, Australasia and parts of Europe." With Supponor's virtual advertising technology and ADI's digiBoards in Elland Road, the FA was "able to sell more ad inventory on the same spots, offering an opportunity for greater income, while making the ads more relevant to viewer audiences." FA Senior Broadcast Manager Tom Gracey said, "The potential for Virtual Replacement Technology is substantial. Perimeter LED displays have become a fundamental platform for activating brand partnerships in sport, so the ability to change that message to make it relevant for different fans around the world is hugely appealing for us and our partners" (THE DRUM, 6/13).

Nordic Entertainment Group reached an agreement with Formula 1 to extend its exclusive media rights to F1 in Denmark, Norway and Sweden until '21. The new deal "includes every practice session, qualifier and race over the next three seasons" live on a combination of NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service and its free-TV and pay-TV channels. In addition, NENT Group and F1 will together offer an "additional streaming service" from the start of the '19 season "at the latest" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 6/13).

Mediapro failed to present an offer in the second auction for Serie A’s '18-21 broadcasting rights. It was reported that only Sky, Mediaset and Perform Group made bids before Wednesday’s 10pm deadline. Serie A sponsor TIM and Italia Way, the two other companies tipped to enter the fray, "were also absent" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 6/13).

Eutelsat will use five satellites to deliver World Cup football from Russia to Europe and the Americas. The Paris-based operator confirmed capacity equivalent to 5,500 hours of HD transmissions "has already been booked by a number of TV channels and service providers" (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 6/12).

The Int'l Hockey Federation agreed to a five-year partnership with Fox Sports Australia, giving fans access to live and exclusive HD coverage of the Hockey Pro League, Hockey World Cups, Champions Trophies and Olympic qualification events until '22. Fox Sports, exclusively on Foxtel, will broadcast all 16 matches hosted by Australia’s Kookaburras (men) and Hockeyroos (women) as part of the Hockey Pro League, which will launch in early '19 (Fox Sports).