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Amazon confirms rugby international rights deal

First time Amazon has won rights to broadcast rugby union

As reported earlier this week by TVBEurope, Amazon has confirmed it has won the rights to rugby’s Autumn Nations Cup.

It’s the first time Amazon Prime has picked up rights to rugby.

The Autumn Nations Cup will be the first competitive Autumn international tournament and the first full tournament after a six month break for international rugby. The tournament will be played across four weekends of games featuring the Six Nations, namely England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy and two guest teams: Georgia and Fiji.

Every game, apart from Ireland’s three pool matches which will be shown live on Channel 4, will be available exclusively on Prime Video in the UK. Prime Video will also co-broadcast the England v Ireland fixture, played at Twickenham alongside Channel 4.

The tournament will run from Friday 13th November until Sunday 6th December.

“We are excited and privileged to work with Six Nations Rugby and the eight participating unions in to bring this new tournament to viewers across the UK on Prime Video,” said Alex Green, MD Prime Video Sport Europe. “It is a unique event bringing a new level of competitiveness to Autumn international rugby and will offer something back to all the fans who have missed top-level rugby. We will be offering mouth-watering clashes featuring the top international teams in the Northern Hemisphere exclusively to UK Prime members at no additional charge to their membership.”

According to analyst Paolo Pescatore this is an “opportunistic move” by Amazon that will fit in nicely with its Premier League coverage.

“Amazon is now well positioned to drive subscriptions and engagement during the key Christmas trading period,” he tells TVBEurope. “Ultimately, Amazon will hope that users sign up to Prime and continue paying a subscription beyond the free 30 days.”

“These and other moves are all about driving value towards its Prime offering. Expect to see numerous bundles and promotions in the run up to Christmas for Prime Video along with Fire TV devices as well.”