ESPN, AELTC Sign 12-Year Agreement to Extend Exclusive Relationship for The Championships, Wimbledon through 2035

Tennis

ESPN, AELTC Sign 12-Year Agreement to Extend Exclusive Relationship for The Championships, Wimbledon through 2035

  • Exclusive First-Ball-to-Last-Ball Live Match Coverage across ESPN Platforms Continues 
  • Expanded Role for ABC with Live Matches on Middle Weekend Beginning Next Year 
  • ESPN+ to Stream All Courts 
  • Extends Rights in Canada, Adds Brazil to Rest of Latin America and the Caribbean 

ESPN will continue to be the exclusive home of The Championships, Wimbledon from first ball to last ball in the U.S. under the terms of a new 12-year agreement with the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  The annual Wimbledon fortnight is one of sports’ most prestigious events, thanks to its iconic grass courts, traditional white attire for players and its storied history of memorable matches.  The agreement begins with the 2024 Championships and extends through 2035. 

“The sporting world recognizes that Wimbledon is equated with excellence, and we are thrilled and proud to continue our close relationship with the AELTC,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN President, Programming and Original Content.  “Wimbledon is a tentpole event on the global sports calendar and the ESPN schedule, and we will continue to use all our resources to present the drama, tradition and stories of Wimbledon to fans in all ways possible.”  

Mick Desmond, AELTC Commercial & Media Director, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have extended this important partnership into the next decade. ESPN has transformed the storytelling of Wimbledon throughout the Americas with their first ball to last ball commitment and their creative storytelling techniques. We are really looking forward to continuing to take the relationship from strength to strength and provide sports fans in the Americas with access to Wimbledon through ESPN’s unrivalled network of platforms.”  

Highlights of the Agreement 

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will continue to present 140+ hours of coverage over the fortnight but will add live coverage on ABC of play on the middle weekend of the event.  (Beginning next year, there will be matches on the “middle Sunday,” traditionally a day of rest.)  This addition of ABC will begin next year, two years before the new agreement takes effect.   
  • ESPN+ will have live streaming of all courts throughout the fortnight and will be the only place to get full match replays for all matches.  In addition, ESPN+ will have exclusive live coverage of the qualifying rounds and access to all ancillary content produced by AELTC, such as films, classic matches, highlight shows and press conferences.  
  • Wimbledon coverage will be presented across all screens via ESPN/Disney platforms. 
  • ESPN Deportes will continue to provide coverage in Spanish in the U.S. 
  • ESPN’s rights around the world will include Canada via TSN and RDS, Latin America, the Caribbean and Brazil.  The addition of Brazil is new with this agreement.  

ESPN first acquired rights to Wimbledon with the 2003 Championships and obtained exclusivity to the entire fortnight starting with the 2012 event.  This weekend, ESPN will present the Ladies’ Championship on Saturday, July 10, at 9 a.m. ET followed by the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Doubles Championships.  On Sunday, ESPN will present the Gentlemen’s Championship at 9 a.m., followed by the Mixed Doubles Championship.  

DID YOU KNOW? 

ESPN’s two biggest tennis audiences were Wimbledon matches.  The 2012 Gentlemen’s Championship, Roger Federer over Andy Murray, drew an average audience of 3.925 million viewers.  The 2019 Gentlemen’s Championship, Novak Djokovic over Roger Federer, averaged 3.426 million viewers.    

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Dave Nagle

It was 33 years at ESPN for me as of November 2019 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals and Indy 500; Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and ESPNPressRoom.com, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.
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