It took me some finding, but there is a highlights programme on Amazon Prime of US Open action.
To find it, you will need to hunt for US Open Highlights & Replays, which should sit alongside the US Open Live page.
Mine doesn’t, however, so I hunted within the US Open Live choices on both a FireStick and on my smart TV to no avail.
Eventually I did find the highlights package on my FireStick, but it doesn’t exist on my smart TV, go figure… why? I wonder…
The problem with Prime is that it is so unlike regular TV that you need a bag full of patience to find to the right place to watch at all.
And I really miss the highlights show early in the morning in the UK, covering the previous night, and day, matches.
Prime Highlights only gives you a half an hour snapshot of the previous day’s action, with a lot of razzmatazz atmospheric film-work in-between cuts to give you a sense of the frenetic pace of the host city, which I find very annoying and completely unnecessary – had we wanted a travel show, we would subscribe to one.
I hope that the USTA is monitoring the comments on social media which are, quite frankly, scathing. Here are a smidgeon:
- “An insult to tennis lovers…”
- “Dreadful sound quality – picture very poor, definitely not HD sound. No choice of match…”
- “Why can’t I chose what I want to watch?”
- “No replay/catch-up etc, and only 3+1 random courts…”
This one summarises the retro step perfectly:
- “What a disappointment! We as a family had put more effort in our preparations to watch this Grand Slam than Amazon had in theirs to broadcast it …. Remote – check, popcorn – check, drinks – check, dog walked – check! All sat comfortably waiting for it to start…check. However unbeknownst to us, previously at the Amazon Sports Broadcasting Division board meeting – ‘Let’s offer them pause so they can watch one match live … catch up on other later’….’na don’t bother’, ‘Let’s offer them ‘watch anytime’ like next morning as customers might be too tired to watch all live’ … ‘na don’t bother’, ‘What about list of who we’re currently screening and which court to find them ? ‘… ‘na don’t bother’, ‘Shall we think about how customers can move between matches, make it slick, state of the art, show other broadcasters we are the future’ …. ‘na don’t bother’, ‘Listen everyone it’s only tennis…now if we were screening football…’ ”
And this one:
- “Not happy at all with the switch from EuroSport Player to Amazon Prime. When thinking of a Grand Slam or any tennis tournament for that matter, which is in a different time zone, it is unlikely that tennis fans here in the UK are going to be able to watch all the matches they want to Live. So to have a full program of replays is vital. Both Eurosport Player and TennisTV offer this. Amazon Prime seems to expect people to sit up and watch the Live stream whatever time they broadcast it and have no thought for those who cannot make it for whatever reason, offering replay of only one chosen match. That has to be a bad joke!!”
- “I hope Amazon get their act together, but at the moment the move to PrimeVideo for tennis fans in the UK is a backward step and very disappointing to put it mildly!”
I couldn’t have put it better myself… we can only hope for some improvement.
The USTA signed a five-year deal worth £30million with Amazon Prime for the exclusive UK rights and Prime are feeling their way into a new genre of live sports streaming but we, the viewers, have been ransomed to an experiment unworthy of Grand Slam tennis.
The UK is simply not ready for this yet and the USTA should be begging our forgiveness.
Meanwhile Eurosport continues throughout Europe. If only we could watch Day 2 of the US Open on it.
Need I say more?