Women’s tennis could get the Netflix treatment after the ATP Tour was denied the opportunity to appear on the platform, with the streaming service looking to bid for the rights to broadcast the sport in the UK before pulling out. It comes as Amazon Prime Video loses the rights to broadcast the ATP and WTA tours at the end of 2023. But fans will still be able to catch a glimpse of their favorite players when Netflix’s Drive To Survive-style tennis documentary is released, while there’s still a chance so that the platform can bid for the WTA rights.
The future of watching tennis in the UK currently looks uncertain with Prime Video’s coverage of both the ATP and WTA Tours ending at the conclusion of the 2023 season, while the streaming service has already lost the rights to broadcast the US Open as the final Grand Slam of the season is shown on Sky from next year.
Another streaming service appears to be hoping to follow in Prime Video’s footsteps and cash in on live sports, as Netflix recently bid for the streaming rights to the ATP Tour in the UK and other European countries before pulling out, according to Wall Street. Journal. While the men’s tour has been denied the ability to be streamed on Netflix in the near future, the WTA tour can still be shown on the platform.
The streaming giant has also discussed bidding for UK rights to the women’s Tour as well as cycling competitions, meaning the easiest way to watch the likes of Emma Raducanu compete year-round could soon be via Netflix, even if that would mean the men’s and women’s. tours will be broken up with tennis fans likely to have to pay for multiple subscriptions to watch the ATP and WTA tours as well as the four Grand Slams.
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Netflix is reportedly hoping to begin offering live sports without “breaking the bank,” potentially indicating why the streaming service doesn’t want to go all-in on a bidding war to broadcast both tennis tours without any indication of whether live sports will prove successful. But tennis will still find its way to the platform next year with the release of a new documentary.
At the beginning of the year they announced a new tennis documentary in the style of Drive To Survive, which has been very successful in attracting a crowd of new fans to Formula 1. The producers of the F1 documentary are also behind the new tennis offering, with the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz, Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka who put themselves forward to be followed by the cameras this season.
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Given the format of the tennis season and looking at the timing of Drive To Survive’s previous releases, it looks like fans won’t have to wait much longer for a new look at the sport as the most likely slot for the documentary will debut. come over the off-season or at the beginning of the 2023 season.
“For the first time, fans will be able to share a year in the life of some of the world’s best tennis players as they travel the world trying to win on the sport’s biggest stages,” Netflix said when it announced the documentary in January. “The series will offer an unfiltered look at life in the competitive sport of professional tennis through the perspective of the players and their teams, in the same spirit as Formula 1: Drive to Survive and the recently announced project of golf’s PGA Tour.”