At Roland-Garros, very confidential evening sessions

The tournament management has made a commitment to Amazon to broadcast the poster of the day in prime time, especially in France.  Thursday, it was Rafael Nadal against Richard Gasquet.

The day of his 35e birthday, Rafael Nadal was probably expecting a little more charitable attention as a gift from the organizers of Roland-Garros. Schedule its second night tour Thursday, June 3, and therefore necessarily without an audience – curfew at 9 p.m. until June 8 requires – the decision has caused a lot of talk in the spans of the stadium.

Many have shouted at the crime of lese majesté against the king of the clay, which this year is targeting a 14e title Porte d’Auteuil. A fortiori when he had to face the French Richard Gasquet, fifteen days his junior, whose body never ceases to cry for mercy and lets fear that it was one of his last appearances on earth Parisian beaten track.

“Friend do you hear the black flight of crows on our plains? Friend do you hear the muffled cries of tennis that one connects? Hey, supporters, workers and peasants, this is the alarm. Tomorrow Gasquet-Nadal is broadcast on Amazon Prime… ”, it said, the day before the match, a tennis fan on Twitter, who, like others, deplored that the poster was not broadcast by the public service.

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Behind this choice hides the desire to satisfy the broadcaster Amazon Prime Video, which acquired the exclusive rights to the evening sessions offered from this year – no official figure reveals the tidy bill signed by the American e-giant. trade.

“With the referee and the teams, we have to make arbitrations every day in terms of programming. Nadal-Gasquet is poster of the day and we are committed to broadcasting it in prime time, particularly in France ”, was justified, Wednesday, Guy Forget, the director of the tournament.

A night-time match for “each of the top players”

In July 2019, the French Tennis Federation decided to share the broadcasting of the tournament between France Télévisions (which had been broadcasting all matches since 1987) and Amazon, guaranteeing the latter the best poster of each day. Only the last four of the men’s and women’s tournaments will be co-broadcast.

This year, to take advantage of the ten nightly sessions of the tournament, you must therefore be subscribed to Amazon Prime Video (49 euros per year), which also broadcasts all the matches of the Simonne-Mathieu court. Jeff Bezos, the boss of the American group, has offered the rights to the tournament for three years. A first foray into a live sporting event in France, probably not the last.

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