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Amazon claims yet another scalp as it beats rival Sky to tennis rights

Amazon has beaten rival Sky to the UK rights to show the ATP World Tour tennis from 2018, in what might be the biggest victory yet for its Instant Video service.

That means the US company will be the only service to provide coverage of all elite men’s tennis events, except the four grand slams.

Sky currently holds the ATP rights, but its contract ends in 2018, and Amazon is thought to have bid up to £10 million a year to secure the rights following the contract’s expiry.

Sky’s existing contract is reportedly worth around £8 million a year, but the company was outbid by its US rival this time around, reportedly refusing to match its previous bid.

Related: Sky Q

As The Guardian reports, Amazon’s victory marks its first major live TV sports rights deal outside the US, and its second major live TV sports rights deal this year.

In April, the company secured the rights to stream National Football League Thursday-night games over in the US.

Sky Sports

The $50 million deal also incorporates up to $30 million worth of marketing and promotion, according to a report from Bloomberg.

However, that deal also allows US broadcasters NBC and CBS to show Thursday-night games, whereas Amazon’s new deal for the tennis rights means it will exclusively show the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Masters 500 events.

That means the only way for those in the UK to watch tournaments in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Paris, and more will be through Amazon.

Those looking to catch up with the end of year ATP World Tour finals, held at the O2 Arena in London, will also need to sign up to Amazon.

Sky, meanwhile, is gearing up to fight BT next year over the renewal of their £5.14 billion Premier League rights.

Last year, the company stopped showing the US Open tennis tournament, ending one of its longest rights deals after 25 years.

Rising rights prices have forced the company to become more selective in the rights it bids for, with a recent £629m rise in its Premier League rights deal leading to a 14% fall in UK and Irish profits.

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