Amazon reveals $1.2bn UK spend, enlists World Productions for tennis drama

A Very English Scandal

Amazon Prime Video has spent over £1bn ($1.24bn) on UK content including live sport since 2018, as it unveiled its latest raft of shows for the streamer.

The amount pales against other commissioners in the country, with major streaming rival Netflix spending around $1bn a year and the BBC investing more than (£1.4bn) $1.75bn on TV content during the 2020/21 fiscal year, despite ongoing cuts.

ITV recently confirmed it was expecting to spend around £1.3bn ($1.5bn) on content in 2023, ahead of the launch of ITVX.

Amazon’s UK team

Amazon revealed its spending at an event in London this morning, with the retailer confirming the £1bn figure included content costs across genres, including originals and co-productions such as A Very English Scandal and docuseries Clarkson’s Farm, licensed series such as Soho Theatre Live and investment in movies like Paddington 2.

The streamer also forked out a reported £90m for a three-year deal to Premier League football rights in 2018, with a similar agreement struck in 2021.

Show slate

Shows on the slate for Prime Video’s UK service highlighted at the event include Fifteen-Love, a scripted drama from ITV Studios-owned World Productions. It has been created and written by Hania Elkington (The Innocents), with Eva Riley and Toby MacDonald directing.

The story tracks the dangerous lines where personal and professional relationships collide, set amid the glamorous cut-and-thrust world of elite tennis.

Two new true-crime series were also revealed, with The Disappearance Of Patricia Hall (working title) coming from ITN Productions, and exploring the disappearance of Hall from a small town in Yorkshire.

Three Mothers (working title) is a three-parter from Scottish indie Firecrest Films that is set in the wild west days of the infancy of the internet. The show “tells the real-life story of three women who all found themselves in the middle of an unbelievable series of events that captured the world’s attention”. Alice McMahon-Major is directing.

Elsewhere, Ben Stokes: Phoenix From The Ashes sees the new England cricket captain discuss the highs and lows of his record-breaking career with 1917 director Sam Mendes, with Whisper producing.

The streamer also confirmed actor Daniel Kaluuya (Judas And The Black Messiah) would be the narrator of All Or Nothing: Arsenal, the latest instalment of the sports franchise that sees cameras go behind the scenes of major sports teams.

Chris Bird, MD of Prime Video UK, said: “It was important to bring people together at Prime Video Presents to not only showcase our brilliant upcoming shows and movies, but to demonstrate how committed we are to the UK in the long term.

“We have invested more than £1bn on TV series, movies, and live sport since 2018. But it’s just as important that we’re investing in the UK’s world-leading production and creative industries, with a growing number of UK Originals; through a £10 million commitment to training and skills schemes; and by taking a long-term lease at Shepperton Studios.”

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