By Nik Simon For The Mail On Sunday
Published: 22:00 BST, 5 September 2020 | Updated: 22:11 BST, 5 September 2020
Rugby could make a radical breakaway from traditional broadcast this autumn after Amazon Prime opened talks to show the upcoming Eight Nations tournament.
Sky Sports’s long-term deal for England’s November internationals is up for renewal and The Mail on Sunday understands online retail giant Amazon has registered an interest in securing the rights for the event that is to replace the autumn tours abandoned because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon’s stock hit an all-time high during lockdown due to changes in spending habits and it has the financial clout to outbid Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Sport.
Amazon are prepared to take their sports broadcasting into Test Rugby for the Eight Nations
The Six Nations have been put in charge of the tender process and talks remain open with all parties, although there is a feeling that Sky overpaid in its previous deal.
Amazon is interested in a one-off, multi-million-pound deal for November, which coincides with its strategic push to attract new customers before Christmas.
It has already broadcast the Premier League and the US Open but now rugby wants to join the movement after suffering crippling revenue losses due to Covid-19. Industry expert Andy Sutherden told The Mail on Sunday that the move would be a shrewd e-commerce play.