ESPN Acquires Wimbledon U.S. TV Rights For 12 Years

by | July 5, 2011 at 2:37 PM | TV News

By Tim Molloy

NEW YORK (TheWrap) – ESPN has acquired the exclusive U.S. television rights for Wimbledon for the next 12 years, ending 43 years of NBC airing the Grand Slam tournament.

ESPN announced Tuesday that the All England Club, which presents the tournament, had granted it the rights. The network promised in a statement that “comprehensive coverage from start to finish across a variety of platforms will result in more tennis for fans and all of it live.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ESPN already had the rights to air the early rounds of Wimbledon. NBC played “Breakfast at Wimbledon” broadcasts of the finals.

The deal was the second long-term, major agreement for sports TV rights in the last month: NBC lost Wimbledon after outbidding ESPN and Fox to keep the rights to the Olympics through 2020.

The announcement had been expected since NBC said in a statement Sunday that “while we would have liked to have continued our relationship, we were simply outbid.”

In this year’s tournament, which ended Sunday, Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the men’s final.

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