Written evidence submitted by Amazon Prime Video
We believe that our approach to broadcasting live sport offers a great experience for fans. We do this by working back from the customer and broadcasting the sports that they care about in a way that is convenient, accessible and offers great value. In this instance we have provided the Autumn international rugby within the Prime membership in the UK at no additional cost, and we’ve seen millions of Rugby fans watching the sport on Prime Video. Welsh rugby matches are interesting not only to Welsh viewers but also all viewers of top-class rugby across the UK. Live sport enhances the
value of Prime for our customers and is one of the many ways we continue to invest and innovate so that the membership gets better for customers each year. We are committed to sport for the long
term, but we don’t have any details to share on our future plans at this time.
We are very proud that we were the first pay broadcaster to offer a Welsh language option for rugby. At Prime Video we always work back from the customer and want to give them the best experience possible with our live sports coverage. This is why we invested in a full Welsh language production for the Wales Rugby matches during the Autumn Nations Series. We don’t have any details to share on our future plans at this time.
Prime Video collaborates with a number of UK partners including the PSBs in terms of developing, producing, licensing and distributing content. We provide PSBs and other UK partners such as the National Theatre,1 with new revenue streams by licensing their work and helping them reach new global audiences. We have also shared the financial burden of creating new works with PSBs via co- productions. By the end of 2022 we had commissioned 25 co-productions with the PSBs such as our work with the BBC on Good Omens, Small Axe, Fleabag and A Very British Scandal and with Channel 4 on Catastrophe. In addition, we also worked with Film4 on the Amazon Original Everybody’s Talking about Jamie and given the unique circumstances of the UK’s Emma Radacanu reaching the final of the US Open tennis as a qualifier, we worked2 with Channel 4 to share our live coverage of the match.
We want to stress that we are always happy to consider locations across the breadth of the UK, including Wales, for our productions. The UK is one of our most important locations globally, and we recently demonstrated our long-term commitment to the UK through a landmark long-term contract with Shepperton Studios for exclusive use of new production facilities for Amazon Originals productions; part of our strategy of expanding our production footprint in the UK. This is our first long term Studio space commitment anywhere outside of the US.
The UK is attractive to us for three key reasons: talent; access to world class studio space and infrastructure and a supportive regulatory framework. They are essential to the continued success of
the UK creative industries and the ability of the UK to continue to stimulate and attract investment from across the world. Recent BFI figures show that total UK inward investment spend of £5.37 billion accounts for 86% of total film and High-end TV spend in 20223. We believe focusing on building up a pipeline of world class talent and studio space will help drive domestic and international investment and help foster long term growth across the sector.
In addition, each one of our productions has bespoke needs and we need to ensure we provide the best possible environment for them to succeed. For example, our UK Original series The Rig’s storyline is set on a Scottish oil rig and we filmed the series in Scotland to ensure its authenticity. The production also had very specific infrastructure needs to support shooting scenes featuring a Helicopter, with Edinburgh First Stage Studios, where the production is based, one of the few Studios in the UK able to accommodate those needs.
you reflect the lives and communities of that audience in your programming?
We have commissioned UK titles across drama, comedy, factual entertainment, documentaries, docuseries and musicals (as well as our live sport offering). We have a self-imposed goal to deliver engaging content for our broad UK customer base, and want that content to represent the make-up of British audiences. We are open to any genres we think have an audience demand that is underserved, which is why one of our first UK commissions was the music-drama hybrid Jungle.4
6 April 2023