Wimbledon will remain live on the BBC until at least 2020 thanks to a new broadcast deal with the All England Club.
It means the British tennis tournament will remain free to air for at least another five years, with the BBC committing to show complete coverage of the tournament on TV, radio and online.
The BBC has lost the rights to a number of key sports broadcasts recently, including the Olympic Games from 2022 and golf’s Open Championship. It will also share Six Nations rights with ITV from 2016.
However, Wimbledon, which has been covered on the BBC for over 80 years, will remain on the BBC.
Director-general Tony Hall said, “There is something very special about having major sporting events on the BBC, and in what are difficult financial times, this is a deal that represents the BBC’s commitment to sport in what is an incredibly competitive market.”
According to the list of sporting ‘crown jewels’, only the Wimbledon finals must be made free to air. Other rounds can be shown live on subscription services such as Sky Sports, so long as highlights are shown on terrestrial TV.
Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of Wimbledon organisers the All England Club, said that large audience numbers were a major factor in their decision to continue working with the BBC.
“The BBC consistently delivers large national audiences for Wimbledon and they deliver those audiences with high-quality production values, live across multiple platforms and always with a strong narrative,” he said. “Importantly, as host broadcaster for The Championships, the BBC also ensures that we can provide a comprehensive and premium service to our global media partners.”