BBC lands Wimbledon for five more years; matches available on demand via Internet for a week

By Kevin Hilton

SVG Europe correspondent

The BBC has secured another significant sports broadcasting contract,
extending its relationship with the All England Club for coverage of
Wimbledon tennis for a further five years. This year’s programmes will
be available in HD and, for the first time, on Internet view again and
mobile platforms.

Wimbledon fortnight is a long-standing and key
part of BBC schedules and has been used as a test bed for a number of
new technologies, including colour transmissions, high definition and
surround sound. This year the matches on Centre and Number One Courts
will be shown on the BBC HD channel but the big innovation is in new
media.

Important games will be available on BBC iPlayer,
allowing viewers to watch using their computers for up to a week after
the original transmission. This expanded coverage also extends to
mobile services, while broadband viewers will be able to watch extra
programmes produced during the tournament using the red button.

Roger
Mosey, director of BBC Sport, commented, “The BBC is deeply proud of
its historic ties with Wimbledon but this new agreement is focused on
delivering state-of-the-art digital services. We’re determined to make
the event an even bigger part of our national sporting life through the
use of new technology and are working with the [All England] Club to
innovate across digital platforms.”

The chief executive of the
All England Club, Ian Ritchie, added, “Our lengthy partnership with the
BBC, which started in 1927, has been highly successful and we are
delighted to extend that association up to 2014. Through the latest
digital technology Wimbledon fans can choose to stay in touch with all
the drama and action in a way that suits them best.”

The
Wimbledon deal also covers radio rights for Radio Five Live and follows
the BBC last week regaining the exclusive contract to broadcast the
Formula 1 Grand Prix season from next year.