The Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) broadcaster has secured rights in the country and the rest of the subcontinent to the next three editions of tennis' US Open grand slam tournament.
The event, this year's edition of which starts on Saturday (August 29), will be covered between 2022 and 2024 on the SPN linear sports channels and also on the broadcaster’s SonyLIV premium streaming platform.
The Sony Six, Sony Ten, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 4 channels will all cover the fortnight-long tournament, which takes place annually at the Flushing Meadows venue in New York City.
This deal marks a significant rights swoop in tennis for SPN – the last few editions of the US Open have all been shown exclusively on Star India, the major pay-TV broadcaster and SPN rival.
Aside from holding the rights in India itself, SPN will also show the action across territories including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.
Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer at Sony Pictures Networks India, has said: “We are pleased to acquire the media rights for the US Open … For the first time in its history of Indian broadcast, the US Open will be broadcast in four languages on our network.”
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Kirsten Corio, chief commercial officer at the US Tennis Association (USTA), organizer of the US Open, added: “Having a broadcast partner committed to becoming a home for tennis in their region is central to growing fan engagement with the game and is what makes SPN India a perfect partner … We’re excited to work alongside them to deliver the US Open across the Indian subcontinent …”
Yesterday (August 24), Japanese pay-TV operator WOWOW renewed its long-standing rights deal with the USTA for the US Open.
Under the multi-year renewal, the broadcaster will retain live television and digital rights to the US Open in Japan and will celebrate its 30th year of live coverage during this year’s edition.
The broadcaster says it will show live coverage of all matches on all courts through its on-demand service and WOWOW Tennis World platform. The men’s and women’s finals will both be broadcast in ultra-high definition.
This year’s tournament has already seen record ticket sales following sporting icon Serena Williams’ announcement that she will retire after the event.
The tournament is set to return to its previous long-term home in the UK from next year after pay television Sky secured UK broadcast rights after streaming platform Amazon Prime Video failed to agree an extended contract with the USTA.
Elsewhere, Australian commercial broadcaster Nine will start its three-year coverage of the US Open next week after securing the rights through a deal brokered by IMG last year. It replaces a combination of sports broadcaster ESPN and public-service network SBS which had a joint deal in place since 2017.
In addition, the USTA last week (August 19) announced a record prize purse for the tournament, which will see funds top $60 million for the first time, covering both the men’s and women’s editions.
Image: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images