The Wimbledon Championships, one of the so-called ‘crown jewel’ sporting events on UK television, will remain on the BBC until at least 2017, it was announced on Thursday.
The public-service broadcaster has aired the tournament for 84 years, and the new deal has extended an existing broadcast agreement by three years. As one of a handful of crown jewel sporting events, Wimbledon is reserved for free-to-air television in the UK with pay-television channels unable to bid for the rights.
“Wimbledon fans have been enjoying the BBC’s broadcast coverage of The Championships since 1927 and we are delighted to be extending this enduring and successful partnership for a further three years,” said Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the All England Club, which organises the Wimbledon Championships. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
BBC Sport director Barbara Slater added: “The BBC’s first ever live sport broadcast was from Wimbledon and we are proud that our new deal means the longest partnership in sports broadcasting continues. We know that Wimbledon fortnight has a very special place in the hearts of the UK public. We are delighted that our new agreement ensures coverage of The Championships remains free to air and available to licence fee payers.”
BBC aces new Wimbledon deal