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ESPN, Wimbledon Agree To Media Rights Extension

The network has held exclusive rights to the tournament since 2012.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: All England Lawn Tennis Club

The Championships, Wimbledon isn’t going anywhere soon as the All England Lawn Tennis Club agreed to an extension with ESPN. The new deal keeps every point of the tournament on ESPN’s platforms until 2035.

The current deal runs out in 2024, and this one picks right up where that one leaves off. The all-white attire and pageantry of the event will be on full display for the network through the better part of the next 15 years.

“The sporting world recognizes that Wimbledon is equated with excellence, and we are thrilled and proud to continue our close relationship with the AELTC,” ESPN President of Programming and Original Content Burke Magnus said. “Wimbledon is a tentpole event on the global sports calendar and the ESPN schedule, and we will continue to use all our resources to present the drama, tradition, and stories of Wimbledon to fans in all ways possible.”

A new deal comes at the perfect time on the calendar as the knockout stages of “The Fortnight” are in full swing. Champions will be crowned in the men’s and women’s singles this weekend.

“We are absolutely delighted to have extended this important partnership into the next decade,” AELTC Commercial & Media Director Mick Desmond said. “ESPN has transformed the storytelling of Wimbledon throughout the Americas with their first ball to last ball commitment and their creative storytelling techniques. We are really looking forward to continuing to take the relationship from strength to strength and provide sports fans in the Americas with access to Wimbledon through ESPN’s unrivaled network of platforms.”

ESPN continues its 140-plus hours of coverage surrounding the event and will also start airing middle weekend matches on ABC, starting next year. ESPN also now has the Brazilian broadcast rights to the tournament. The network first acquired rights to Wimbledon back in 2003, gaining exclusive rights in 2012.

Sports TV News

Curt Menefee to Call Two Seahawks Preseason Games

FOX NFL studio host Curt Menefee will be on the TV play-by-play for the preseason opener on August 13 and the finale on August 26.

Jordan Bondurant

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Curt Menefee

The 2022 NFL preseason is going to kick off in earnest later this week, and the Seattle Seahawks have revealed their broadcast crews for two of the team’s three preseason contests.

FOX NFL studio host Curt Menefee will be on the TV play-by-play for the preseason opener on August 13 and the finale on August 26. He’ll be joined in the booth by former Seahawk Michael Robinson. The games will air locally on KING 5, the city’s NBC affiliate.

Additionally for the TV broadcasts, Paul Silvi and Ray Roberts will host the pre and postgame shows, with former Seahawk Michael Bennett working as an analyst.

On the radio, Steve Raible and Dave Wyman will call all three games. Jen Mueller will be the sideline reporter. Michael Bumpus will be the studio host and will be joined by former players Jordan Babineaux, Paul Moyer, Roberts, Marcus Trufant and Robert Turbin.

Radio broadcasts air on Seattle Sports 710 AM and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM and are distributed across Washington on the Seahawks Radio Network.

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Sports TV News

After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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