Broadcasters Drop the Ball on Wimbledon UPDATED
Sky announced Friday it would screen live HD coverage of Wimbledon on ESPN. “ESPN has a rich history with tennis that we will continue to enhance and expand,” Haydn Arndt, ESPN general manager for Australia/New Zealand, said. “We are excited to be able to announce that we will be bringing Wimbledon live and exclusively to New Zealand tennis fans, a great addition to our schedule.” Daily live coverage starts on Monday. ESPN’s commentary team includes former tennis players John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Cliff Drysdale. Wimbledon – the third tennis grand slam of the year – is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
With less than a week to go before the start of the world’s biggest tennis tournament, Wimbledon, it’s still not clear if the event will be broadcast here.
TVNZ has screened Wimbledon in HD since 2011 but didn’t bid for the 2014 rights.
A Sky spokesman said there was no word on if the satcaster would cover the competition, which starts on Monday.
It’s not scheduled for any of the sports channels but, if Sky is negotiating rights up to the wire, it could screen on one of its increasing number of pop-up channels.
In Sky’s interim 2014 report, chief executive John Fellet said expansion of Sky’s TV station at Panorama Road in Auckland provided additional capacity for new channels, production facilities for major sporting events like the Sochi Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games in July 2014, and infrastructure for additional pop-up channels.
“Pop-up channels are a new initiative that enables Sky to launch additional channels for a short period of time.”
These channels would seem tailor-made for wall-to-wall Wimbledon, which runs from June 23-July 6 and ends ahead of the Commonwealth Games.