The Amazon Prime Video expansion into live sports rights continues. Following in the wake of U.S. deals with the NFL (with more maybe coming there), the WNBA, the AVP volleyball tour, the New York Yankees, the Seattle Sounders, and more, they’ve now picked up exclusive rights for a minimum of 12 events a year from martial arts promotion ONE Championship. A couple of interesting elements around this deal are that it’s for five years, and that it’s for both the U.S. and Canada. Here’s more from a release:
Prime Video and ONE Championship (ONE) today announced a multi-year agreement for Prime Video to broadcast 12 live ONE martial arts events annually. The full live events will be available exclusively on Prime Video in the United States and Canada. The first event will be announced later this year.
ONE is the world’s largest martial arts organization and a top five global sports property for viewership and engagement. ONE events represent the full spectrum of martial arts, with world-class athletes representing over 80 countries competing across MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling and other disciplines.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO at ONE Championship, stated: “ONE is thrilled to work with Prime Video, one of the largest premium sports content providers in the world, to bring our live events closer to fans in the United States and Canada. As the world’s largest martial arts organization, we believe our collaboration with Prime Video will allow us to reach a wider North American audience that is hungry for an authentic and differentiated product you simply cannot get with any other organization. We look forward to showcasing the absolute greatest martial artists on the planet, right here in the ONE Circle and on Prime Video.”
Marie Donoghue, Vice President of Global Sports Video at Amazon, stated:“Through this exciting new deal, we look forward to introducing Prime Video customers in the United States and Canada to the excitement that is ONE Championship, furthering their strategy to build a robust and dedicated global fan base with the support of our streaming capabilities.”
Singapore-based ONE Championship has been around since 2011, but much of its success so far has come in Asia. It’s an interesting promotion for offering not just MMA fights, but also specific disciplines like kickboxing and muay thai. It’s notable to see it signing a significant North American deal like this. And this is notable for Amazon as well; combat sports promotions in general have had some notable audience numbers lately, and it’s interesting to see Amazon get in on airing them, adding to its sports stable.
There could be some notable tech innovations here as well. Stats have become an important part of many combat sports broadcasts, including breakdowns of fighters’ speed, punching power, and more. And Amazon has certainly done lots along those lines with their Next Gen Stats deal with the NFL, so it will be interesting to see what they do with MMA.