With just under a week to go until tennis returns to television screens for the 2019, here’s our guide to watching tennis next year.
The biggest change is with ATP coverage. Sky Sports ended 27 years of tennis broadcasting at the ATP Finals in November, and all of their past content is now on Amazon Prime Video.
Here are the basics on who’s covering what this coming year.
The first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, is exclusive to Eurosport with some highlights in the second week on the BBC.
Eurosport also have the French Open in full; there is single-court-coverage on ITV.
Wimbledon is shown free on the BBC with all courts streamed online.
The US Open is on Amazon Prime Video.
To watch most of the ATP tour, there is a simple choice of two streaming services: Tennis TV and Amazon Prime Video.
Tennis TV is the ATP’s streaming service and has coverage from every ATP event. Amazon Prime Video has all of the Masters 1000, 500 and thirteen 250 events*** including Queen’s and Eastbourne, as well as the Next Gen Finals and ATP Finals.
The ATP events in Brisbane and Sydney at the start of the year are on Eurosport – note that Tennis TV only have two matches per day from these events. Queen’s is covered by the BBC who also have the day matches at the ATP Finals.
FreeSports have shown some ATP 250 events in the past but none are confirmed for 2019 yet. Eurosport no longer has coverage of Doha.
There’s a simple choice for most of the WTA events too: WTA TV or BT Sport.
WTA TV has multi-court coverage from all but ten WTA events – the notable exceptions are Nottingham and Zhuhai. You can also watch WTA 125 events on WTA TV. BT Sport will have single-court coverage from all Premier and Mandatory, plus most International competitions, except those in the UK – BT does have Zhuhai.
The tournaments in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne are covered by Eurosport, the latter also getting some coverage on the BBC. Eurosport also shows Nuremberg and Linz instead of BT Sport.
The Hopman Cup and World Tennis Challenge in Australia are both shown by Eurosport. The Laver Cup is on Amazon Prime Video.
No UK broadcaster has picked up the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, usually considered the start of the season between Christmas and New Year; it was previously on Eurosport.
At the time of writing it’s unknown if any broadcaster will show Davis Cup and Fed Cup rounds, but those involving Great Britain have been shown for free on Facebook recently, and they are also available on the Davis Cup and Fed Cup websites.
ATP Challenger tournaments are streamed for free online, the new ones in Glasgow and Loughborough were on the BBC Sport website in 2018 too.
Deciding what to subscribe to
The cheapest way to ensure you get the coverage from as much tennis as possible is to subscribe to Tennis TV (£89.99) and WTA TV (£58.60) for the year and then the other services for as short a time as possible.
These would be Eurosport Player for one month (£6.99)* for the Hopman Cup, Australian ATP events and Australian Open. Another two months of Eurosport Player will see you through the French Open and British grass court WTA events. You’d only need one month of Amazon Prime Video (£5.99) for the US Open and Laver Cup (you may be able to get a 30-day free trial). The total cost comes to £175.55*.
If you are interested in other sports it may be more cost effective for you to subscribe to BT Sport instead of WTA TV, and Eurosport Player for the full year instead of just the months they show tennis. You might already get Eurosport 1 and 2 with a pay-TV service. BT Sport is heavily discounted if you are a BT Broadband subscriber. An Amazon Prime Video subscription for the year might be better than Tennis TV if you don’t expect to watch every ATP tournament as there are other benefits to a Prime subscription.
Remember you’ll need a TV licence to watch BT Sport, Eurosport, the BBC and ITV in the UK, even online. Streaming services purchased in the UK can be watched like-for-like within the EU, at least as long as we are still in it.
Here’s a handy table showing what you can get on each service, to the best of our knowledge. This will be updated if things change.
|Service||Tennis TV||Amazon Prime Video||WTA TV||BT Sport||Eurosport||BBC||ITV|
|Exclusive content||All but 15 ATP 250 events||US Open
|Multi-court coverage of all but 8 WTA tour events,
WTA 125 events
|WTA Zhuhai||Australian Open including qualies,
French Open (multi-court) incl. qualies,
WTA Nottingham, Nuremberg and Linz
|Wimbledon including qualies
(singles finals are non-exclusive)
|Non-exclusive content||All ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events,
ATP Next Gen
ATP Tour Finals
|All ATP Masters 1000 and 500s,
13 ATP 250s incl. Eastbourne,
ATP Next Gen,
ATP Tour Finals (full list)***
|WTA Finals||All but 10 WTA tour events (single court coverage),
|Wimbledon highlights and singles finals,
ATP Brisbane and Sydney,
WTA Birmingham and Eastbourne
|Australian Open highlights,
ATP Queens, WTA Eastbourne,
day matches at ATP Tour Finals, Glasgow and Loughborough ATP Challengers online
(single court coverage).
|Not so obvious omissions||Grand Slams,
only 2 matches per day from ATP Brisbane and Sydney are shown.
|All other ATP 250 events,
US Open qualifying TBC (was not shown in 2018)
8 WTA events including Nottingham and Zhuhai
10 WTA events including Birmingham Nottingham and Eastbourne
Mubadala World Tennis Champs, ATP Doha,
some coverage only on Eurosport Player and not on Eurosport 1 or 2 depending on scheduling clashes
|ATP matches at Eastbourne,
night matches at ATP Tour Finals
|Availability||Online, apps, worldwide (with a few geo-restrictions)||Online, apps,
UK and Ireland only, content can be watched within the EU.
|Online, worldwide except USA and China||Pay TV,
content can be watched in the EU
|Eurosport 1 and 2 on pay TV,
Eurosport Player online and apps,
UK-purchased content available within EU
|Free TV (BBC 1, BBC 2 and red button), online,
|Free TV (ITV and ITV4), online,
|Cost||£9.99/month or £89.99/year||From £5.99/month for video only, £7.99/month or £79/year for full Prime. Discounts for students.
Click here for a 30-day trial
|£7.81/month or £58.60/year||From £27.99/month via Sky, discounted for BT TV and Broadband customers. Also in Virgin Media cable packages||Eurosport 1 and 2 included
in most pay TV packages,
Eurosport Player currently £4.99/month (12 months commitment), £6.99/month* or £39.99/year. Also as a channel through Amazon Prime Video.**
|Other benefits||Classic matches||Free 1-day delivery, movies and TV, Kindle library, photo storage, music etc.||Other BT Sport content includes football, rugby, motorsport etc., AMC entertainment channel||Other Eurosport content includes wintersports, cycling, motorsport, snooker, squash etc.|
*Update, 28 December: Since this article was published the monthly subscription price of Eurosport Player has risen from £6.99 to £9.99. Note: if you subscribe through the mobile app you cannot access Eurosport Player on your desktop.
**Update, 3 January: Eurosport Player is on offer at 1p/month for 6 months through Amazon Prime video until 27 January.
*** Update, 27 February: to include link to Amazon Prime Video tournaments.