Amazon Prime Signs Multiyear Deal with Professional Pickleball Association for Streaming Coverage

New Opportunities for Pickleball Enthusiasts

The world of sports streaming is expanding once again as Amazon Prime Video announced its multiyear deal with the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) to provide streaming coverage of four tournaments per year. This new partnership allows Amazon Prime members to enjoy live coverage of pickleball events alongside their other membership benefits.

The coverage will begin this Thursday with a four-day tournament at the Atlanta Open in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Fans can expect to see games featuring top-ranked players such as Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Walters, and Anna Bright. The deal also includes the exclusive rights to the 2023-2024 PPA Tour World Championship Series.

According to Charlie Neiman, the Head of Sports Partnerships at Amazon Prime Video, the decision to venture into pickleball coverage was driven by the sport’s exponential growth. Neiman stated, “When something has an explosion in growth, naturally, it catches our eye.” This partnership signifies Amazon’s commitment to diversifying its sports streaming rights, which already include Thursday Night Football, emerging sports leagues, and sports documentaries.

Conor Pardoe, CEO and Co-founder of the Pro Pickleball Association, described the deal as “monumental for the burgeoning league.” Pardoe believes that it is not only a significant step forward for professional players but also crucial for the evolution of the game as a whole. This partnership reflects Amazon’s strategy to invest in emerging sports properties with high growth potential, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and basketball.

Pickleball enthusiasts will undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to watch their favorite sport on the small screen and have the flexibility to stream games. However, the proliferation of platforms and media confusion may make it challenging for fans to find the right channel. Apart from Amazon Prime Video, pickleball tournaments can be viewed on platforms like ABC, Fox, CBS, YouTube, the Tennis Channel, and Fanduel. In addition, ESPN recently announced its coverage of eight PPA tour events.

Pardoe acknowledges the need for a more consistent media deal in the future but currently focuses on reaching a broader audience. He stated, “Where pickleball is today, it’s a sport that’s really hot. It’s really exciting and nobody wants to miss out on it, but also, no one’s really ready to commit to the whole thing as well.” The sport’s rapid growth is evident, with an estimated 36 million people picking up a paddle between August 2021 and August 2022, representing a staggering 158% increase over the past three years.

The partnership between Amazon Prime and the PPA opens up new opportunities for pickleball fans to engage with the sport. As the coverage expands and the media strategy evolves, it is crucial for the league to establish a concise and consistent broadcasting deal. For now, the focus remains on spreading the pickleball brand “anywhere and everywhere.”

The future of pickleball looks promising as its popularity continues to soar. With Amazon Prime Video’s investment and commitment, this unique sport has the chance to captivate even more enthusiasts worldwide.

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