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London | Sky Sports will recover the US Open

From 2023, Sky Sports is set to reclaim the US Open broadcast rights, which it last held in 2017, according to recent reports.

The final Major of the year has been televised by Amazon Prime Video for the past 5 years in an estimated £30m deal, but it appears the rights now go to Sky.

Last year, Amazon Prime Video agreed to show Emma Raducanu’s US Open final free-to-air on Channel 4, with 9.2 million viewers tuning in to see the teenager from Bromley’s victory around 11 p.m. on a Saturday night.

As a result, Raducanu became a household name when she completed a historic 3-week run in New York without dropping a set through 3 grueling qualifying rounds and 7 main draw matches to claim the title at the age of just 18 years old when she was ranked No. 150 in the world.

Amazon staff reportedly told The Times that the hard-court major won’t be returning to his streaming service.

It’s also possible that the ATP and WTA Tours will join the exodus when their Amazon Prime Video deals end in December 2023, which would challenge Prime Video’s coverage of the sport.

Other Grand Slams could be harder to secure for Sky as Wimbledon is one of the ‘crown jewels’ of events listed by the BBC, under a £60m-a-year deal which runs until 2027, while the French and Australian Opens are now broadcast by Eurosport.

The Roland-Garros contract on ITV ended in 2021 after 10 years.

Sky Sports will return to tennis coverage after losing the rights to show ATP Tour matches in 2018 when, 2 years earlier, the satellite company signaled its intention to walk away from the sport by suddenly cutting the US Open from his portfolio. of live sporting events after 25 years.

Raducanu’s rise to prominence in winning the US Open last September, however, is seen as the driving force behind Sky’s decision to outbid Amazon Prime Video for the next round of rights.

She was the first woman to win the title in her second Grand Slam appearance, as well as the first British woman to reach the US Open final since Virginia Wade in 1968, the first British woman to win a singles title of the Grand Slam since Wade at Wimbledon in 1977, and the first British Grand Slam singles champion since Andy Murray at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.

Sky is keen to support the growth of women’s sport, and there is an opportunity here to capitalize on the interest sparked by the 19-year-old via a standalone channel for tennis similar to golf and cricket.

According to The Times, while the contract has yet to be finalized by the USTA, Amazon staff were informed in early April that the 2022 US Open would be the last on their platform.

The return of tennis to Sky Sports provides a more visible presence for the sport, with easier access for viewers, while Amazon admits that by removing the US Open from its schedule they can invest more money in the rising cost of Premier League rights and investing in F1 and golf.