Universal Tennis, Amazon Sign Media Rights Deal to Elevate the Game of Tennis
Amazon and Universal Tennis have announced a media rights deal and investment, which will see the two companies work together to drive positive, innovative changes to the sport of tennis.
As part of the agreement, Prime Video will become the home of the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) events. Launching in 2021, the PTT completed over 185 events and 10,000 professional matches in 15 countries across 4 continents. The UTR PTT will be available on Prime Video in the US at no additional cost to Prime members. Prime Video and Universal Tennis will have more to share about the launch of the UTR PTT Channel in the coming months.
“We are excited to announce this collaboration with Amazon,” comments Mark Leschly, Chairman and CEO, Universal Tennis. “Prime Video is a clear innovator in the sports streaming landscape and we look forward to bringing the PTT onto the service and pursuing other new initiatives in content, analytics and insights to expand and engage the global tennis audience.”
Fundamental to Universal Tennis is the UTR Rating, which is considered the gold standard and provides the most accurate measure of a player’s true skill level. Every player can have a rating regardless of age, gender or location – totally free. Players who compete in tournaments will most likely already have a UTR Rating. All players can claim their profile or sign up for a new account 100% free of charge at UniversalTennis.com.
“We believe tennis is ripe for innovation, and look forward to teaming up with Universal Tennis to bring positive change for the sport through a number of bold initiatives, including streaming PTT matches on Prime Video,” says Marie Donoghue, Vice President of Global Sports Video at Amazon.
Amazon joins existing investors and partners of Universal Tennis, including Larry Ellison, Roger Federer’s Team8, Novak Djokovic, Endeavor / IMG, Tennis Channel and Tennis Australia, which recently announced the UTR Rating as the exclusive rating of tennis in the grand slam nation.
Universal Tennis also announced Jeff Blackburn, SVP of Global Media and Entertainment at Amazon, will join the Universal Tennis Board of Directors. Blackburn first joined Amazon in 1998 and currently leads Amazon’s global content businesses including Prime Video, Amazon Studios, IMDb TV, Amazon Music, Amazon Games, Audible, and Twitch.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jeff to our board of directors,” says Mark Leschly, Chairman and CEO, Universal Tennis. “Jeff has a track record of success in media and entertainment, and he shares our passion for sports and our mission to elevate and transform the sport of tennis globally.”
Blackburn joins existing board members Ken Hao (Chairman and Managing Partner of Silver Lake), Jan Leschly (former CEO Smithkline Beecham, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and US Open semi-finalist), Ken Solomon (President of Tennis Channel), John Thorton (Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold and former President of Goldman Sachs), and Mark Leschly.