US Open | Can you watch or stream online without Amazon Prime?
We all know the US Open got under way this week, but how many of us are watching? Those who are, want to revert to previous satellite coverage.
In the UK, all eyes are on how Andy Murray will perform after his long period out of action.
After winning his first match on Monday, he is back in action today, Wednesday, but only a select number of fans will actually be able to cast an eye over his progress.
Unless you bagged yourself a ticket to the US Open in New York, you won’t be able watch the tennis on any terrestrial television service.
Blink and you’ll miss some of the serves that come thundering down from Murray and co.
Trying to catch those serves whilst struggling with a buffering stream is nearly impossible.
The solution to your US Open woes may come in the form of Amazon Prime, where you can watch all the action live, buffer free.
You can now join Amazon Prime for only £59, saving you £20 on your first year’s membership, and granting you access to thousands of TV shows and movies with Prime Video, unlimited One-Day Delivery, Prime Music, Prime Reading, and more.
Available to new Prime members only, the offer ends on 30 August, so if you’re desperate to catch the action from the US Open, act now!
The somewhat spotty service is improving with each day, although at the time of writing (Noon on Wednesday, UK time) the Day 2 Highlights had yet to appear on the Prime Video App.
Amazon Prime secured the UK broadcasting rights from Sky Sports last year (who subcontracted to Eurosport), and are streaming matches online, although not every match is being shown as Prime is focusing almost exclusively on the show courts.
The Silicon Valley giant spent £30million securing the rights to show the tournament in the UK and Ireland over the next five years, but it has so far been a disaster for customers.
Hundreds of viewers have slammed Amazon for a lack of replays from Flushing Meadows, no ability to record and poor picture quality.
Punters have been bombarding with terrible reviews, with a current rating average of 1.5 stars out of five with a staggering 82 per cent of customers giving it one star.
A bland entrance page simply has a list of nondescript courts throughout the day, with not a single player’s name or match mentioned.
One viewer moaned that they didn’t even broadcast Roger Federer’s straight sets win over Yoshihito Nishioka.
The highlights have also been getting scathing reviews on Amazon Prime with the score currently at one star out of five.
Viewers also complained when they failed to show Heather Watson’s clash with Ekaterina Makarova, although this was in fact broadcast by Prime.
One reviewer Kiddyboo said: “I used to love recording the tennis on ITV4 or Eurosport to watch ‘as live’ when I returned from work.
“If you’re going to bid on this sport coverage at least give people the option to watch retrospectively not ONLY live.
“And the option to choose which match to watch on catch-up. Please make some changes so tennis fans can enjoy our favourite sport.”
Prime claim to have five live streams of content stretching to seven on Friday.
Another, who anonymously names themselves Amazon Customer, said: “WHY is there NO way to watch matches that took place in the middle of the night for viewers in the UK?
“I’m so upset, Roger Federer is playing tonight too late for me to stay up, I assumed I’d be able to see it tomorrow.
“Please please Amazon sort this out NOW. Viewers need to be able to watch matches on demand, we can’t all be available to only watch live.
“Please give tennis back to Sky and Eurosport, if viewers can’t watch on demand.”
Another raged at the fiddly controls and lack of information about the actual event.
Babbles posted: “My mother is in her 80s and has Parkinson’s. She is effectively bed ridden. Watching tennis for many years has been one of the few things she can do.
“Now she is completely unable to navigate even with an Amazon firestick control – even if she could read the small text or guess when a match is on.
“1) There is no replay option. So unless I stay off work and stay up all day and night I will miss almost all the matches I want to watch.
“2) No Ability to record. Again unless I stay off work and stay up all day and night I will miss almost all the matches I want to watch.
“3) Picture quality very poor. It’s like going back in time 25 years.
“4) Navigation awful. No indication of what match is being played on which stream. Just a very small text description of which court the stream is covering. You have to select each one, one at a time to find the match you want.
“5) No order of play or link to the channel covering the match.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “We are working with a small number of customers to address specific issues – we listen to all customer feedback and are always working to improve all aspects of our service.
“This is the first time the US Open has been broadcast exclusively on a streaming service.
“Naturally, customers will have an opinion, just as they must have been the first time live sport was broadcast on satellite TV.
“We’re really proud of our first days of coverage, especially our studio and commentary team, and we’re pleased to be servicing the demand.
“We are working hard to ensure we bring customers across the UK a great experience.”
If you are located anywhere in Europe other than the UK, you can still view all the matches on Eurosport or Eurosport Player.
To watch the US Open on Prime, fire up your Prime Account and search for the US Open to view a selection of the matches available to watch.
Are there any other ways to watch the US Open?
Unfortunately for UK viewers, the US Open is only viewable on Prime, although a number of UK betting companies have what is known as a ‘watch and bet’ license that means they can show the US Open live but you must be over 18 to view these streams and adhere to the terms and conditions.
This is the only way to catch any of the action live, as the US Open is not being broadcast on TV.
Prime Video’s live multi-stream coverage of the US Open begin daily at 4.00pm BST and finish at approximately 4.00am BST, with a half-hour pre-amble from the practice courts at Flushing Meadows from 3.30pm BST.
It is claimed that there are also be a daily highlights show and a replay of the top Day Session match at approximately 9.00pm BST while full-day highlights are available on-demand from approximately 7.00am each day showing the previous day’s coverage highlights.
One ‘match of the day’ is also available on-demand, as well as replays of all quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals for men’s and women’s singles matches.
How to set up an Amazon Prime account
If you want to catch the US Open online, you can set up an Amazon Prime account quite easily.
The best thing to do, if you have not already done so, is take advantage of the month free trial that Amazon offers to new customers.
If you have not redeemed this offer, simply head over to Amazon.com and click sign up.
Fill out the form and complete your details, including username, password and card details
At the end of the account creation process, you will be prompted to confirm if you want to sign up to Amazon Prime.
If you have not already previously signed up, click on the free trial option to start your free 30 days.
This will mean you won’t have to pay to watch the US Open online.
However, keep in mind that Amazon will automatically charge you when your free trial is up.
Amazon Prime costs £7.99 a month or £79 a year.