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Amazon hires Sony TV’s Hopkins to run Prime Video

Mike Hopkins (Credit: Getty Images)

Online retail giant Amazon has hired Sony TV chairman Mike Hopkins to oversee the company’s video entertainment business.

The veteran television executive will oversee Prime Video and Amazon Studios, beginning his new role on February 24. Hopkins replaces Jeffrey Blackburn, who is taking a one-year sabbatical from Amazon.

Hopkins returns to to the digital space, having previously served as Hulu chief executive from 2013 to 2017.

Last month Amazon recruited Tim Wood, a long-serving executive at the IMG agency, as its head of business affairs, sport at Prime Video Europe.

Amazon Prime has expanded its sports rights footprint in recent years, successfully picking up a package of English Premier League rights, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, in the UK. Its recent coverage of the league led to a record number of new sign-ups to its Prime subscription service, according to the online retailer.

The company also recently acquired a package of exclusive Uefa Champions League rights in Germany for the new 2021-22 to 2023-24 cycle. This is in addition to radio rights to Germany’s Bundesliga.

A package of domestic rights to tennis’ French Open were also acquired from 2021 to 2023, while Amazon finalised a rights deal for Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour rights in the UK and Ireland from 2020 to 2023.

Amazon also holds rights in the UK and Ireland to tennis’ US Open from 2018 to 2022, along with ATP World Tour rights from 2019 to 2023. In 2018, Amazon Prime Video secured rights in over 200 countries to the Laver Cup, the international men’s tennis tournament between Europe and the rest of the world team.

In December, it was reported that the New York Yankees were looking to partner with the e-commerce giant to become the first Major League Baseball team to offer games to in-market viewers without a cable TV subscription.