Eurosport’s efforts to build on its tennis coverage have been given a major boost after Ofcom approved the three-way agreement between the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), the BBC and Eurosport for the live broadcast coverage of Wimbledon.
The Discovery-owned sports channel confirmed earlier reports that it would show live matches from this year’s Wimbledon tournament after agreeing a five-year deal with the BBC, who hold the broadcast rights to the grand slam until 2020.
In addition to live coverage of the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles matches Eurosport will also show a daily 90 minute highlights shows for the duration of tournament, however a stipulation in the agreement means it will be timed so as not to clash with BBC’s own nightly roundup.
With Wimbledon added to its tennis coverage Eurosport now holds the accolade of being the only channel in the UK to show live coverage of all four of the tennis grand slams.
The BBC’s willingness to lese the rights to Eurosport reflect the publically-owned broadcaster’s efforts to make huge savings across its sport coverage in order to accommodate changes to the license fee. This has resulted in previous tie-ups with Eurosport around the broadcast rights to the Olympics.
Tennis has generated huge success for Eurosport since it began increasing its focus, earlier this year the live coverage of the Australian Open Men’s Final peaked at 1.1 million viewers.
Susanna Dinnage, executive vice president and managing director of Discovery UK said: “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.”
The BBC will continue its daily live coverage of The Championships in the UK across BBC 1, BBC 2 and online, and remains the AELTC’s primary UK broadcast partner for the term 2016-2020 inclusive.