Historic Wimbledon broadcasting deal extended

The BBC has won the rights to broadcast Wimbledon until 2017, extending what is officially the longest-running partnership of its kind.

Since 1927, the BBC has had professionals in broadcast jobs working on the annual tournament, meaning that this latest agreement will take the broadcaster’s deal with the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) up to 90 years, according to BBC Sport.

Barbara Slater, director of the sports news provider, said: “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.”

She pointed out that Wimbledon has a special place in the heart of the UK public, which is why it is so important for the competition to air on free channels.

Another sport that the BBC this year committed itself to covering is Formula One, although it has received a great deal of criticism for the deal agreed with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management, reported the Press Association.

While the broadcaster reportedly saved money by reducing it’s coverage of the motorsport series – ceding ground to Sky Sports, which will screen all elements of the grand prix events – it will only have the rights to show half of the tour dates and a highlights package.

The extension of the BBC’s tennis coverage is likely to be well received by fee payers and prompted support from AELTC chief executive Ian Ritchie, who said he is “delighted” with the new arrangement.

by Paul Smithson on October 27, 2011

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