The Discovery-owned broadcaster has agreed terms with rights holder the All England Tennis Club to show the grass court championships from 2016 through to 2020. It will be the first time a commercial broadcaster has held rights to the tournament since British Satellite Broadcasting in the early 1990s.
Wimbledon is regarded as one of the ‘crown jewels’ of sports rights and it’s required that the Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals are shown by a free-to-air broadcaster. It seems likely the final will be shown on both BBC One and Eurosport with highlights scheduled at a time so not as to clash.
The BBC has broadcast from Wimbledon for 80 years, and while its coverage doesn’t appear in doubt, the attractiveness of its multiscreen offer could come into question.
Details of Discovery’s move emerged at a press conference in Paris Thursday, from where Eurosport is screening coverage of the French Open Tennis, Discovery also confirmed its latest rights share agreements for the Olympics.
Agreements have been reached with HRT in Croatia and RTE in Ireland. The 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games will be available to Croatian viewers on HRT channels as well as on Eurosport. As part of the agreement, HRT will sub-license from Discovery Communications free-to-air audio visual and radio rights, for the 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games.
In Ireland RTÉ Sport has secured the exclusive free-to-air television and multi-platform broadcast rights for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.