ESPN Snags Wimbledon Contract

    Novak Djokovic with the winners trophy at Wimbledon Tennis Championships Men's Final in Wimbledon, London, Britain on July 3, 2011.

    Eddie Mulholland / Rex Features via AP

    Ace! ESPN has signed a contract for exclusive rights to the Wimbledon tennis tournament for the next 12 years. It’s the newest battle in an ongoing back-and-forth with NBC, which had been airing the premier tournament. In June, NBC defeated ESPN’s bid for the Olympics contract, keeping rights after outbidding the Disney-owned sports network by nearly $1 billion, but ESPN has now returned the volley by snatching Wimbledon away.  All matches will be broadcast live—a reproach to NBC, which declined to air some semifinals live this year. The value of the deal hasn’t been released, but one report says the value of the NBC contract was about $13 million per year.

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