NEW YORK (AP) — Wimbledon officials set out to ensure that all matches would be broadcast live and by the same company in the United States under their new television contract. They agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN last summer, ending a 43-year run on NBC.
The move to cable means the finals will air in fewer homes. But it does away with tape-delayed matches and makes the tournament easier to follow in the middle rounds.
ESPN had owned the rights to extensively televise the early rounds since 2003, with NBC picking up coverage as the tournament progressed. NBC was often criticized for not showing all the action live in every time zone.