According to Sports Business Journal, ESPN is close to finalizing a full-rights package with The All England Club for Wimbledon – ending NBC’s 43-year association with the tournament.
“We are proud of our 43-year partnership with the All England Club and while we would have liked to have continued our relationship, we were simply outbid,” NBC’s statement said.
ESPN’s current deal for the early rounds of Wimbledon runs out in 2013. That deal will be incorporated into the new proposed deal.
A key component in the deal is the fact that ESPN will broadcast the entire two-week tournament live. In recent years, NBC has tape-delayed semifinals coverage to West Coast viewers in order to show the Today show.