Universal Tennis and Amazon Announce Rights Deal and Investment to Elevate Game of Tennis

3/8, 3:04 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

SEATTLE, March 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Amazon and Universal Tennis (UniversalTennis.com) 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,” commented 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.”

“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,” said Marie Donoghue, Vice President of Global Sports Video at Amazon.

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.

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,” said 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.

About Universal Tennis
The mission of Universal Tennis is to connect and grow the sport of tennis through innovative events, a global digital marketplace, and level-based play. This goal is anchored by the UTR Rating, the world’s most accurate tennis rating system. Universal Tennis provides the tools and solutions to make the UTR Rating relevant and valuable to players, coaches and organizers in their local tennis communities. Players from all over the world, in all stages of life, can find better matches, and unlock a more fun and flexible tennis experience through Universal Tennis. Go to ​universaltennis.com to sign up, activate your player profile and join the global tennis community. Watch our video and connect on social @​UniversalTennis.​

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge re some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT)
The UTR Pro Tennis Tour officially began on January 1, 2021, with a three-year commitment of over $20M to support tennis globally with prize money, venue support, technology, logistics, and competitive play opportunities. Universal Tennis is the owner and organizing body of the UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT), with responsibility for its Rules and Regulations, Code of Conduct, Tournament Format and related streaming and commercial rights. The UTR Pro Tennis Tour was started to create a development tour. With fewer events and substantially reduced prize money, aspiring professional players were increasingly struggling in the pursuit of their dreams. Working with host venues and national Federations, Universal Tennis provides additive and complementary opportunities to help emerging players and the broader tennis community.

Media Contacts Universal Tennis:

Ben Makarenko /
bmakarenko@universaltennis.com

Media Contacts Amazon /
amazon-pr@amazon.com

A video accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/144a8ffa-08eb-4c5b-8722-8b5d7fed5d73


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