After securing a 12-year contract, Disney-owned US network ESPN will retain to cover the Wimbledon tennis Grand Slam until 2035. When ESPN’s current contract expires in 2024, the new partnership with event sponsors the All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) will begin. ABC will broadcast weekend matches in the middle of the campaign under the new arrangements, which will begin in 2022.
From 2024 onwards, all courts will be covered by the ESPN+ streaming service. The OTT site will also feature unique television coverage of the qualifying rounds, as well as access to all AELTC-produced ancillary content like films, classic matches, highlight programmes, and press conferences. Additionally, ESPN Deportes will continue to deliver Spanish-language broadcasts in the United States as part of the agreement.
The English and French language sister networks TSN and RDS, in which ESPN has a share, have kept their rights in Canada. ESPN has also included the Brazilian agreement to its roster of Latin American and Caribbean accords. During the championship’s two-week run, the channel will broadcast more than 140 hours of Wimbledon coverage across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.
“The sporting world recognises that Wimbledon is equated with excellence, and we are thrilled and proud to continue our close relationship with the AELTC,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN president, programming and original content.
Mick Desmond, AELTC commercial and media director, added, “We are absolutely delighted to have extended this important partnership into the next decade. ESPN has transformed the storytelling of Wimbledon throughout the Americas with their first ball to last ball commitment and their creative storytelling techniques.”
Wimbledon also extended its rights agreement with the BBC, the UK public service broadcaster, until 2027 last week. The three-year pact extends the longest professional sports collaboration in history. Roger Federer’s win against Andy Murray in the 2012 men’s final drew an average viewership of 3.925 million people, while Novak Djokovic’s victory over Federer in the 2019 title match drew an average viewership of 3.426 million viewers, according to ESPN.