Wimbledon’s broadcasting partner, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), announced the extension of its contract with tennis’ premier tournament for a further six years until 2027.
The agreement, which was first agreed between the two parties in June 1927, will be celebrating 100 years of coverage in 2027. The current deal, extended in 2016, sees it run through 2024 and the two parties decided to extend that by a further three years. The agreement means Wimbledon will remain free-to-air across BBC radio, online and television.
The first coverage of the Wimbledon was in June 1927 that saw microphones and loudspeakers at the court broadcasting the umpire’s calls. It was an all-radio coverage until 1937, when the first televised coverage took place. “Wimbledon has a special place in the hearts of the nation and with this extension we can continue our longstanding and valued partnership with the All England Club,” BBC’s Director of Sport, Barbara Slater said after the extension.
The extension also sees the English Grand Slam continue to be broadcasted across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Online, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 5. Having seen a record audience of 9.6 million people who watched the 2019 Wimbledon men’s singles final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the BBC hopes the numbers keep growing in years to come, with its new contract making it the longest partnership in sport broadcasting history.
Whilst BBC continues to be the home of Wimbledon in the UK, ESPN will continue to be the home for the Grand Slam in the US after agreeing to a new 12-year contract with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC). For the Indian broadcast, Star Sports India had signed a three-year contract extension earlier this year with the AELTC.