On Tuesday, the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video announced its latest agreement. They have officially inked a multiyear deal with the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) for exclusive global streaming rights to four live PPA Tour events annually. This deal encompasses the highly anticipated 2023-2024 PPA Tour World Championship Series.
The first event to be covered by Amazon Prime will be a thrilling four-day tournament commencing today (Thursday, 5/18/2023) set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Open in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Amazon has confirmed that its coverage will encompass matches featuring renowned players like Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Walters, and Anna Bright.
“When something has an explosion in growth, naturally it catches our eye,” Charlie Neiman, head of sports partnerships at Amazon Prime Video, told CNBC.
Amazon Prime signs on to stream professional pickleball tournaments https://t.co/S1s1ohSHFB— CNBC (@CNBC) May 16, 2023
An industry expert, Neiman acknowledges Amazon’s remarkable success in investing in other emerging sports properties, such as MMA’s One Championship or Overtime Elite Basketball. He believes that pickleball falls within the same category with its substantial growth potential.
“We’re always looking at content and making sure our offerings on Prime Video reflect our customers’ interests,” he said.
Connor Pardoe, the Pro Pickleball Association’s CEO, and co-founder, hailed the agreement as a “monumental” milestone for the rapidly growing league.
He said, “It’s important for the evolution of the pro game, the game as a whole, and a nice step forward for the professional players.
“Where pickleball is today, it’s a sport that’s really hot. It’s really exciting, and nobody wants to miss out on it. But also, no one’s really ready to commit to the whole thing as well.”
“It will take time to get a more concise and consistent media deal, but today the league is focused on getting its brand anywhere and everywhere,” he added.
He also acknowledged that attaining a streamlined and consistent media agreement will require time. However, the league’s primary objective is to establish its brand presence “anywhere and everywhere.”
In addition to its agreement with the PPA, Amazon Prime’s partnership further strengthens its dedication to securing sports streaming rights across a wide spectrum. The platform has showcased its commitment to this domain from Thursday Night Football to up-and-coming sports leagues and sports documentaries.
The announcement of pickleball being showcased on the small screen and made available for streaming brings great joy to pickleball enthusiasts. However, the scattered and ever-changing media strategy has made it somewhat challenging to determine where to watch the games.
The PPA Tour has scheduled over 20 tournaments for 2023, and these events can be viewed on various platforms, including ABC, Fox, CBS, YouTube, the Tennis Channel, and FanDuel. Adding to the mix, ESPN recently revealed its plans to cover eight tournaments from the league earlier this month.
The sport of pickleball continues to experience rapid expansion, as indicated by a report from the Association of Pickleball Professionals, which estimates that approximately 36 million individuals embraced the sport between August 2021 and August 2022. Moreover, the 2023 Sports Fitness Industry Association Topline Participation Report reveals that pickleball has witnessed a remarkable growth rate of over 158% in the past three years.
Don’t miss our fantastic preview of the PPA Atlanta Open here!
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