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Amazon looking to acquire rights to rugby matches?

Amazon looking to acquire rights to rugby matches?
© Reuters
Amazon is reportedly interested in buying the broadcast rights to the upcoming Eight Nations rugby tournament.

Amazon is reportedly interested in making a bid for the rights to the upcoming Eight Nations rugby tournament.

The new competition will feature the traditional Six Nations teams - England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy - as well as Fiji and one other nation, most likely South Africa.

Sky Sports had been tipped to be a shoo-in for the rights to the Eight Nations, which will take place in November, but according to the Daily Mail, Amazon has expressed interest in a deal.

The streaming giant has stealthily been building up its portfolio of sports rights over the last few years, holding the lion's share of UK tennis coverage - including the ongoing US Open - as well as multiple Premier League matchdays and exclusive documentaries such as All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur and Andy Murray: Resurfacing.

Amazon, which has significant financial clout behind it, views coverage of the Eight Nations as a key marketing tool for consumers in the run-up to Christmas.

"The timing of the autumn rugby fixtures is perfect for Amazon because it's the prime trading period for black Friday and Christmas," industry expert Andy Sutherden told the newspaper.

"There are few prominent sporting events up for grabs in October, November, December and it's all about getting into the public conscience.

"Part of their broadcast strategy is to be very visible to the sporting public when they want to attract the maximum amount of online retailing."

The Eight Nations is conceived as a replacement for the Autumn Internationals in a year where the traditional schedule has been ripped up by coronavirus.

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