Streaming is increasingly looking like the new battleground for sports coverage, with Stan’s rugby-led sports option just weeks away from launch. And now Amazon has announced that its popular streaming service Prime Video will be getting into the Australian sports streaming business, with the announcement of a two-year deal with Swimming Australia to stream their championship swim meets – in Australia, and around the world.
While the announcement caught some by surprise, it’s actually not Amazon’s first attempt at sports streaming. In the early days of Prime Video in Australia, experiments were done with streaming American football as well as a handful of Amazon-sponsored tennis tournaments. In the UK and Ireland, Prime Video has been streaming ATP tennis events for some time.
This new deal with Swimming Australia, though, is a coup for Amazon, which takes the rights to Australian swimming events from the Seven Network.
Access to the streams will come at no extra cost to Prime members – welcome news for swimming fans, and a different approach to Stan Sport, which charges $10/month for sport on top of their standard streaming plans.
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The first event to stream under the new deal will be the Australian Swimming Trials starting on June 12th, with the entire six-day event streaming live from Adelaide as the Aussie swim teams prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the Paralympics. Qualifiers for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the FINA World Swimming Championships are also on the schedule.
Prime Video Australia head Hushidar Kharas has not revealed how much Amazon has paid for the Swimming Australia rights, but it’s believed to be a substantial amount – and he has hinted that deals for streaming other live sports are possible in the future.
Fans will be able to stream Swimming Australia events on any device supported by Amazon Prime Video, including phones and tablets, all major smart TV brands, Apple TV, Fire TV and more. Prime membership (including Prime Video as well as a large range of perks including free shipping on Amazon purchases) costs $59 per year or $6.99 per month.