Eurosport seals Wimbledon rights deal

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Eurosport has confirmed that it has secured a five-year agreement to screen selected coverage of Wimbledon, including both singles finals live.

The Discovery-owned broadcaster, which becomes the first pay-TV network to cover the world-famous tournament in the UK, will screen daily 90-minute highlights shows for the duration of The Championships.

In addition, Eurosport will also simulcast live coverage of both the men’s and women’s singles finals on the concluding weekend, sharing coverage with the BBC.

The partnership with Eurosport has been agreed in line with the Ofcom Listed Events regulations, which entitles a secondary broadcaster to acquire certain rights alongside the primary broadcaster, which in the case of The Championships is the BBC.

Eurosport is now the only channel in the UK that holds the rights to screen live coverage from all four of the sport’s Grand Slam tournaments.

Eurosport’s regular tennis presenter Rob Curling will host the nightly highlights programme in the UK from the All England Club from 10.00pm every day of the tournament, with Greg Rusedski, Richard Krajicek, Henri Leconte and Mark Philippoussis featuring as guests throughout Eurosport’s coverage.

The Championships will be broadcast between Eurosport’s coverage of Roland-Garros, which concluded with singles victories for Novak Djokovic and Garbiñe Muguruza, and the upcoming coverage of the 2016 US Open starting on August 29.

Susanna Dinnage, EVP and MD, Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, commented: “It is fantastic to offer fans the chance to watch one of the most iconic events in British sport on Eurosport for the first time.

“Adding the Wimbledon rights means we now have live coverage of all four top tournaments and cements our position as the Home of Grand Slam Tennis in the UK.”

Earlier this year, Eurosport achieved its best ever ratings in the UK with its exclusive live coverage of the Australian Open Men’s Final peaking at 1.1m viewers.

In addition to the four Grand Slams, Eurosport broadcasts the Davis Cup, known as the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ and the five British grass court tournaments that take place in the lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon.

The BBC will continue to broadcast continuous daily live coverage of Wimbledon in the UK across its TV channels and online, with the corporation remaining Wimbledon’s primary UK broadcast partner until at least 2020.

The move marks the first time a pay-TV channel has broadcast matches from the All England Club, although ITV shared live coverage with the BBC for a brief period during the 1960s.

The 2016 Wimbledon Championships will take place between June 27 and July 10.

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