EXCLUSIVE: Emma Raducanu’s US Open final will be shown live on FREE-TO-AIR TV tonight after Amazon Prime agreed to share coverage in a last-minute deal with Channel 4 so more fans can watch live
- Amazon Prime has agreed to share live coverage of Emma Raducanu’s US Open final with Channel 4 tonight – channels will broadcast the match simultaneously
- Amazon, who own rights to US Open, agreed sub-licensing deal with C4 and the fee, which is understood to be more than £1 million, will go to British tennis
- Raducanu takes on fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in bid for stunning triumph
- The British sensation’s fairytale continued as she beat Maria Sakkari in the semis
- The tech giant had already agreed to allow highlights to be shown on the BBC
Amazon Prime will share its live coverage of Emma Raducanu‘s US Open final against Leylah Fernandez with Channel 4 on Saturday evening so it can seen on free-to-air TV.
The broadcasters held talks through the night over a sub-licensing deal that would enable the match to shown live on Prime and on Channel4 at 9pm this evening.
Amazon has said it will reinvest all of the fees from the deal into British women’s tennis to support the next generation of female talent.
The broadcaster has declined to comment on the amount Channel 4 are paying for the licence to screen the match, but Sportsmail understands it is more than £1 million.
Amazon have already agreed a highlights deal with BBC Sport for a programme that will air on Sunday afternoon and Channel 4 have swooped in to secure the live rights in a major boost for tennis fans in the UK.
Emma Raducanu’s US Open final against Leylah Fernandez is set to be aired on Channel 4
She will go for an unthinkable triumph against the Canadian and fellow teenager
‘Emma’s journey from qualification through to the US Open final at the age of 18 is a truly magical story for British sport and we think it’s important that we extend our coverage to as many people as possible to support her in this historic moment for women’s tennis,’ said Alex Green, MD Prime Video Sport Europe.
‘Young tennis talent such as Emma need the right support to become the stars we see today and we’re delighted to be able to commit even more investment to the next generation of women’s tennis in the UK.’
The broadcaster has already funded Raducanu amazing journey, contributing £60,000 towards her development through the Prime Video Future Talent Award in 2019.
Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said: ‘Emma’s meteoric rise to secure a place in the US Open Final is just sensational.
‘We’re glad to have worked with Prime Video and pulled out all the stops to get it on air and I’m sure viewers will be thrilled at the prospect of watching Emma in this Grand Slam final.’
Relations with Amazon and Channel 4 are close after they shared live coverage of rugby’s Autumn Nations Championship last year.
Sportsmail reported on Friday that Amazon were considering making the match free-to-air after fans stayed up through the night to watch the British star in action, with the eyes on the nation set to be on Raducanu.
Raducanu’s epic performances in New York have drawn in a legion of new excited supporters
There is precedent for major British sporting moments emerging from behind a pay wall.
In 2019, Sky Sports made the final of the Cricket World Cup between England and New Zealand free-to-air by partnering with Channel 4.
England were chasing their first Cricket World Cup title, and it was the first final that the team had reached since 1992, when they lost to Pakistan in Melbourne.
C4 screened the match, which England won sensationally following a super-over, simultaneously with Sky.
Raducanu has enjoyed an unforgettable journey to the final and is even being labelled as the favourite for her encounter with Fernandez – but the Brit insists she has no pressure on her shoulders having began the tournament as a qualifier.
She insists she will not be a favourite for the final against Fernandez as she is only a qualifier
‘Is there any expectation?’ Raducanu asked jokingly. ‘I’m a qualifier so there’s no pressure on me!’
She added: ‘Honestly the time here in New York has gone so fast, I’ve been taking care of each day and before you know it three weeks later I’m in the final, I can’t actually believe it.
‘Since I’ve been here I’ve had great support. Playing under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of the most iconic things in tennis. I was so excited.’
Amazon Prime has invested heavily is screening tennis in recent years. It secured the rights to the US Open for five years from 2018 and then added exclusive coverage of 37 ATP Tour events the following year in another five-year deal.
Emma Raducanu’s US Open final against Leylah Fernandez will be shown on Channel 4