BBC confirms Wimbledon 2016 coverage plans

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The BBC will be serving tennis fans with unparalleled coverage of Wimbledon 2016 across its TV, radio and digital platforms from June 27 to July 10.

More than 150 hours of network TV coverage is scheduled across BBC One and BBC Two, which will be complemented by the usual array of Red Button and online streams where viewers will be able to access up to 15 live courts during the fortnight.

Sue Barker returns to anchor the BBC’s daily live coverage, presenting the action from the BBC’s studio based within the grounds of the All England Club, with its iconic views of Centre Court and No. 1 Court.

Alongside its established on-screen line-up, the BBC team welcomes three new faces to its line-up this year in 2002 men’s singles champion Lleyton Hewitt, four-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier, and former British number one Annabel Croft.

Commenting on his new role with corporation at Wimbledon, Lleyton Hewitt said: “It’s an honour to join the BBC team this year.

“I won my second major championship singles title at Wimbledon, and have so many great memories from the tournament, so it’s going to be really exciting to be covering the action!”

The trio join some of the biggest names in tennis, including BBC Wimbledon regulars John McEnroe, Tim Henman, Tracy Austin, Pat Cash, Lindsay Davenport, Martina Navratilova, John Lloyd, Peter Fleming and Virginia Wade.

Leading the line-up of match commentators will be Andrew Castle, John Inverdale, Andrew Cotter, Chris Bradnam, Simon Reed, Mark Petchey, Jonathan Overend, Nick Mullins, David Mercer, Matt Chilton and Barry Davies.

Additional commentators include Jamie Baker, Jo Durie, James Burridge, Paul Hand, Guy McCrea, Ronald McIntosh, Alison Mitchell, Sam Smith, Louise Pleming, Elizabeth Smylie, Charlie Brougham and Dan Lobb.

Following the heavy criticism the corporation received for its revamped evening highlights show in 2015, Wimbledon 2Day, the BBC has also confirmed that the programme will return to being titled Today at Wimbledon in 2016, with presenter Clare Balding retaining her role for the show every night during The Championships.

She will be joined by two expert guests to review each day’s play on BBC Two, airing at 8:30pm in week one and 8.00pm from Tuesday, July 5, with show presented live from a new studio next to Henman Hill overlooking the grounds of the All England Club.

Complementing the BBC’s extensive TV coverage, the corporation’s digital platforms will make 15 live HD video streams available online on mobile and desktop, and on connected TVs via Red Button+, giving fans even more choice during the busy early rounds.

Six of these video streams can be accessed via BBC Red Button on satellite, with only one of these feeds to be made available on Freeview.

BBC Sport’s dedicated Wimbledon live page, available at bbc.co.uk/sport, will allow fans to watch live coverage, follow text commentary and the best of opinion on social media in one place throughout the tournament, as well as rolling highlights, in-depth analysis, infographics and live votes.

The BBC Sport website, mobile app and TV app will also offer all the latest news, analysis, draws, order of play, live scores and results plus highlights, full match replays and video clips throughout The Championships, while 2013 Wimbledon champion and recent French Open finalist Andy Murray will once again provide his popular player’s column on the BBC Sport website.

On Radio 5 live, Tony Livesey and Eleanor Oldroyd take the helm for the Wimbledon fortnight for the first time, bringing listeners more than 100 hours of action.

In the build-up to The Championships, BBC One will air a special documentary – Just Call Me Martina – on Monday, July 4, in which Sue Barker gives exclusive insight into one of the world’s most famous and successful tennis legends, Martina Navratilova.

With 344 singles and doubles titles under her belt, Martina’s professional career spanned more than 30 years, and she is the only player in history to win Grand Slam titles in four different decades.

As well as documenting her amazing achievements on the court, the programme will give unprecedented access into Martina’s personal life, including her New York wedding to long-term partner Julia Lemigova

Martina also invited Sue to her home town, Revnice, Czech Republic, and the documentary follows her fight for women’s equality and gay rights, as well as exploring why she encourages women to test for breast cancer.

Commenting on the corporation’s Wimbledon 2016 output, Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “Wimbledon is one of the most exciting tournaments of the sporting calendar.

“We’re delighted to welcome two more Grand Slam winners, Lleyton Hewitt and Jim Courier, to our unrivalled line-up of experts, plus Annabel Croft who will add her considerable experience to our reporting and commentary teams.

“The BBC’s 2016 offering will yet again be extensive across all of our platforms, bringing our audiences the exceptional comprehensive coverage that only the BBC can deliver.”

In addition to its comprehensive Wimbledon coverage, the BBC will also be covering the two premier grass court warm-up events to The Championships – the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club (June 13-19) and the AEGON International at Eastbourne (June 21-25).

This year’s championships is also set to be the first to be broadcast on Eurosport in the UK, with a new deal for selected live coverage and nightly highlights awaiting approval from Ofcom.

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