via press release:
New Era of Wimbledon on TV: First Ball to Finals in ESPN’s 10th Championships
140 Live Hours on ESPN & ESPN2 including “Cross Court Coverage,” Highlights on ABC, Nine Screens on ESPN3
John McEnroe Makes ESPN/Wimbledon Debut, “Breakfast at Wimbledon” Returns as ESPN Preview Show
A new era of television coverage for one of sport’s most prestigious and historic events will begin when ESPN presents The Championships, Wimbledon complete, live and exclusively across its networks from first ball Monday, June 25, with day-long marathon telecasts through to the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Finals, Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, respectively. ESPN’s 10th Wimbledon will expand to 140 live hours in high definition on ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD – including three days when the two networks offer all-day “cross court coverage” (airing matches simultaneously) – plus highlights and reairs of both Finals on ABC. All the action on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.
In addition, ESPN3 will also increase its schedule to more than 800 hours of a multi-screen offering – all available TV courts (up to nine) presented from first ball to last ball each day – which will be available along with ESPN and ESPN2’s action via the WatchESPN app. The service will also offer matches on demand after they occur.
The new schedule is the result of a 12-year agreement between ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced just after the conclusion of the 2011 Championships.
As previously announced, ESPN 3D, which presented its first tennis at Wimbledon a year ago with one live match and others on delay, will televise five days of action live from Centre Court. ESPN 3D’s coverage will begin with the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals Wednesday, July 4, and continue through the Finals. Each day’s telecast will be reaired that night at 9 p.m.
“This Wimbledon is the culmination of a dream we at ESPN have had for more than 10 years, to deliver every match and every key moment live as it happens to fans wherever they are,” said John Skipper, ESPN president. “The Club entrusted the care of their wonderful event to us and we intend to fulfill their trust and present a Wimbledon that uses modern technology to serve fans across all devices while being mindful of the great history and traditions of the fortnight.”
As previously announced, Hall of Famer John McEnroe is adding Wimbledon to his ESPN repertoire, having worked the US Open since 2009. He will be joined by returnees Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Chris Fowler will call matches and serve as studio host, sharing that role with Hannah Storm and Mike Tirico. The voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Tirico has worked the US Open for ESPN as a host and calling matches and will fill those roles in his Wimbledon debut. Tom Rinaldi will provide essays and features.