ESPN will continue to be the exclusive home of Wimbledon in the U.S. under the terms of a new 12-year agreement with the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the Disney-owned sportscaster said Friday.
The extended deal for the annual Wimbledon championships fortnight — currently ongoing and one of sports’ most prestigious events — begins with the 2024 Championships and runs through 2035.
The deal calls for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC to continue to present 140-plus hours of coverage over the fortnight but will add live coverage on ABC of play on the middle weekend of the event. (Beginning next year, there will be matches on the “middle Sunday,” traditionally a day of rest.) This addition of ABC will begin next year, two years before the new agreement takes effect.
ESPN+ will have live streaming of all courts throughout the fortnight and will be the only place to get full match replays for all matches. In addition, ESPN+ will have exclusive live coverage of the qualifying rounds and access to all ancillary content produced by AELTC, such as films, classic matches, highlight shows and press conferences.
Wimbledon coverage will be presented across all screens via ESPN/Disney platforms.
ESPN Deportes will continue to provide coverage in Spanish in the U.S.
ESPN’s rights around the world will include Canada via TSN and RDS, Latin America, the Caribbean and Brazil. The addition of Brazil is new with this agreement.
ESPN first acquired rights to Wimbledon with the 2003 Championships and obtained exclusivity to the entire fortnight starting with the 2012 event.
“The sporting world recognizes 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. “Wimbledon is a tentpole event on the global sports calendar and the ESPN schedule, and we will continue to use all our resources to present the drama, tradition and stories of Wimbledon to fans in all ways possible.”
Mick Desmond, AELTC Commercial & Media Director, commented: “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. We are really looking forward to continuing to take the relationship from strength to strength and provide sports fans in the Americas with access to Wimbledon through ESPN’s unrivalled network of platforms.”
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