Sky Sports secured US Open UK rights after eight-year gap

Sky Sports has unveiled a five-year partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for the UK rights to the US Open Championships. Sky will replace Amazon Prime, which recently came to the end of its own five-year deal with the USTA.

The new agreement will begin with the 2023 US Open at Flushing Meadows, starting on August 28th, with Sky Sports holding the exclusive broadcast rights up to and including the 2027 event. Jonathan Licht, MD Sky Sports said: “We are excited to partner with the USTA once again to deliver the US Open. We have had a great history with the USTA and remember Andy Murray’s 2012 US Open win as one of the great moments on Sky Sports. This is another huge sporting event, and we look forward to bringing tennis fans more of what they love and welcoming in new fans to the sport.”

Sky Sports will have access to all individual court feeds, broadcasting a minimum of 135 hours of competition throughout the two-week Grand Slam tournament. Across Sky Sports’ linear channels and on Sky Sports digital and social channels, extensive coverage will provide content for both existing tennis fans and new audiences.

The agreement includes coverage of Men’s and Women’s tournaments, alongside Double’s, Mixed Doubles, Juniors, and Wheelchair competitions. The partnership comes at a time when British tennis has great momentum, with former US Open Champion Emma Raducanu and the Billie Jean Cup team leading the way in women’s tennis, Alfie Hewett taking the 2022 US Open Wheelchair singles title, and Cameron Norrie, Andy Murray, Jack Draper and Daniel Evans performing well last year.

Before Amazon gatecrashed the UK sports rights market, Eurosport briefly held the UK rights to the US Open. Prior to that Sky Sports had a long relationship with the USTA, from 1991 and 2015. Kirsten Corio, chief commercial officer, USTA says: “The USTA and Sky Sports have a long history together and it’s an exciting time to be partnering once again. We’re looking forward to showcasing the US Open to an increasing number of fans in the UK and Ireland over the next five years.”

Sky’s decision to pursue the US Open has been rumoured for months, with the Raducanu factor seen as being a key motivator. However Amazon’s huge investment in European soccer rights may also have changed its investment priorities.

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