Wimbledon will take over from the BBC next year as host broadcaster of their own tournament as part of the changing media landscape. The BBC and the All England Club today announced a four-year extension to their broadcast partnership, giving the BBC the domestic rights to broadcast The Championships, Wimbledon up to 2024. That’s mean you can watch Wimbledon 2018 live stream at BBC or BBC iPlayer.
The All England Club are setting up Wimbledon Broadcasting Services (WBS), who will have control of all TV cameras for the first time. This will suit perfectly the private members club, who can now dictate what is shown on screen rather than having to argue occasionally with the Beeb about controversial moments.
As part of the new agreement, the BBC and the AELTC will collaborate on the production of the host broadcast from 2018, with the BBC concentrating on the domestic output, while the AELTC will take responsibility for providing a best-in-class service to its global media partners and continuing the great work done here by the BBC.
The All England Club will be more in tune with worldwide interest in what they broadcast. The BBC will still work closely with them on domestic output, but without their previous power. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has outlined plans to take over from the BBC as the host broadcaster of its own annual Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon.
Starting from the 2018 edition of the competition, Wimbledon Broadcasting Services (WBS) will have full control over the TV cameras and broadcast output worldwide. The BBC will still retain the exclusive live broadcast rights to Wimbledon in the UK while no longer shouldering the burden of the production costs. The BBC will continue to work closely with WBS on their domestic coverage, but final decisions will now lie with representatives from the AELTC who can tailor the content to a global audience.
Paul Davies, the former lead executive producer at the BBC who joined the AELTC in 2015, is expected to head up the new division. The decision follows the example set by Tennis Australia, which brought its own TV production for the Australian Open in-house in 2015, and is reflective of trends across the sport industry with rights holders increasingly looking to take greater control over their own content.
Operating as its own host broadcaster will allow the AELTC to do much more with its growing digital platforms, though live coverage of matches will be limited thanks to existing long-term exclusive broadcasting deals. Currently, through its website and app, Wimbledon offers an augmented reality (AR) experience which allows fans to watch the practice courts, usually closed to public viewing.
The 2017 edition of the Championships, Wimbledon closed on Sunday, with Roger Federer winning a record eighth title in the men’s singles. The previous day, Spanish star and SportsPro most marketable athlete Garbiñe Muguruza claimed her first Wimbledon title, beating Venus Williams in straight sets.