Channel 4 have struck a late deal with Amazon Prime to show Emma Raducanu’s US Open final against Leylah Fernandez live on free-to-air terrestrial TV in the UK.
The 18-year-old Raducanu is the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977 to reach a Grand Slam singles final, and has not lost a set during a remarkable run of victories at Flushing Meadows.
Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service has had exclusive broadcast rights in the UK for the final grand slam of the year, but has agreed a deal – understood to be worth seven figures – for the match to be shown on Channel 4, maximising the viewing potential for one of the biggest sporting stories of the year.
And it has pledged to invest that money in British women’s tennis to help fund the next generation of players. “Emma’s journey from qualification through to the US Open final at the age of 18 is a truly magical story for British sport and we think it’s important that we extend our coverage to as many people as possible to support her in this historic moment for women’s tennis,” said Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe.
“Young tennis talent such as Emma need the right support to become the stars we see today and we’re delighted to be able to commit even more investment to the next generation of women’s tennis in the UK.”
Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz said: “Emma’s meteoric rise to secure a place in the US Open final is just sensational. We’re glad to have worked with Prime Video and pulled out all the stops to get it on air and I’m sure viewers will be thrilled at the prospect of watching Emma in this grand slam final.”
On the line in the final is a prize cheque for £1.8m – more than eight times Raducanu’s current career earnings – as well as 2,000 ranking points, which would move the teenager up from her current ranking of 150 to 23.
Even defeat would see Raducanu climb to 32nd in the world, putting her in contention to be seeded for her debut at the Australian Open in January.
The 19-year-old Fernandez, who is only two months older than Raducanu, has had a similarly seismic impact at Flushing Meadows, with her incredible run including victories over defending champion Naomi Osaka, another former winner in Angelique Kerber, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and second seed Aryna Sabalenka.
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