Amazon is on the move again, today announcing a partnership with the AVP that provides Amazon Prime Video worldwide distribution rights, excluding China, to the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour from May to September annually. It is the latest deal for Amazon, which in addition to the NFL has struck deals with leagues like the ATP for live events as well.
“Our goal is to deliver compelling content to Prime members and give them options to watch when, where and how they prefer,” said Jim DeLorenzo, Head of Sports, Amazon Video in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with the AVP and excited to bring live pro beach volleyball to our customers around the world.”
The AVP, which had NBC as its primary home for years, is another great example of a sport with a strong niche that it needs to service, and the global reach and marketing of Amazon could be a better core fit for an audience that is younger and more apt to consume matches on any device at any time.
“For AVP, an outstanding distribution opportunity that will provide significant global reach – a way to export the AVP brand, as well as valuable data and insights, while for Amazon, an appealing new property for its growing sports portfolio, one whose fan base skews young and likely includes a high percentage of cordcutters makes great sense,” added Tom Richardson, a longtime sports marketing expert now teaching sports and digital at Columbia University. “Amazon provides easy and relatively inexpensive access to a plethora of AVP content on the device of their choice, which really makes this a win for both sides.”
Beginning with the 2018 AVP Pro Tour Season, Prime Video will deliver live coverage of Main Draw matches from each tour stop through 2020. Prime Video will stream the men’s and women’s finals to viewers outside of the U.S., and one final match per event to Prime members in the U.S. In addition to live AVP coverage, Prime members will have on-demand access to completed matches, including all finals, highlights and additional content. Prime members in more than 200 countries and territories will be able to watch live and on-demand AVP content across more than 600 devices on the Prime Video app for TVs, game consoles, set top boxes and connected devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, mobile devices and online.
“We are thrilled to team up with Amazon Prime Video on this revolutionary streaming deal – the first of its kind in our sport’s history,” added Donald Sun, managing partner, AVP in a statement. “As the media landscape continues to expand towards the digital space, the AVP is proud to join forces with Amazon in offering sports fans the opportunity to watch the best in beach volleyball throughout the season.”
As we continue to watch the fluidity of rights go to new and various sources, seeing how the dollars match up with distribution is becoming more and more of a factor than ever when you get away from the biggest team sports in North America. Not being tied to a rating and servicing your fans where they consume media is key, so for AVP, looking away from “broadcast” tradition and finding value elsewhere was a unique way to go. Then again, in a few years who knows how we will refer to “traditional” media. The media landscape, like the sand the AVP plays on, continues to shift.