The former UK no.1 is a part of Amazon Prime Video’s tennis coverage
Former world no.4 tennis player and current Amazon Prime Video pundit Greg Rusedski believes streaming services are the future of sports broadcasting.
Speaking to Broadcast Sport, the 46-year-old explained how younger audiences and affordability will allow streamers to overtake traditional broadcasters.
Rusedski will be a part of Amazon’s coverage of the US Open, and ATP/WTA tours this year, although he has had to wait to get started after the Indian Wells tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This has also meant Amazon has had to wait to debut its new dedicated tennis studio, which had been planned to be used to cover the ATP/WTA competition.
“I think the future of sport is all going to be streaming,” Rusedski said. “It’s not if, it’s just when. This is the future.”
“I think it’s the future because it’s much more affordable for the fans as well as hopefully bringing more people to the experience.”
“I have kids and they don’t watch normal television. Everything’s streaming.”
He also believes streaming platforms can bring in younger audiences: “I have kids for example, and you give them technology. They don’t watch normal television. Everything’s streaming, everything’s through the internet, everything’s this way.”
“They don’t do the traditional model, so this is the future which is happening now – because for, say, the older generation, my generation, we’re used to the way television was once done. That’s not the way it’s done anymore. So, all these companies are going into this direction and I think it’s absolutely brilliant and it makes it affordable for the fan as well.”
Rusedski also believes traditional viewers can be held on to, despite the use of technology to stream the events, as the content is still accessible through the trusty TV remote.
“You can get the Fire stick in the back of your television, or if you have a Smart TV, just get the app. It’s just educating that generation to be able to do it. They know how to do these things, and it’s just allowing them to understand how it works.”
After a rocky start, Amazon’s tennis coverage has improved vastly over the past 18 months.
Rusedski revealed the work that goes into the streamer’s coverage: “When we work a tennis event we always go down the draw sheet, we go through all the names, we make our predictions, and do the draw sheet before it starts in both the men’s and women’s games.
“I watch tennis throughout the whole year, so it’s kind of your knowledge and your interpretation of the game. What’s great for me is to work with colleagues who played these players in the women’s and the men’s game.”
“Everybody has different opinions and everyone has different ideas of how things are happening out there – and that makes it fun. I think it’s your knowledge that really gets tested when you have to deal with every single match.”
“I enjoy that part of it because I enjoy watching people, where they’ve improved, where they’ve gotten better, changing coaches, changing training places, changing style; all those sorts of things are fascinating to me.”