Here are ESPN’s coverage plans and announcers for their 2013 coverage of Wimbledon:
140 Live Hours on ESPN & ESPN2 with “Cross Court Coverage” — Highlights & Encores of Finals on ABC, Nine Screens on ESPN3
Serena, Federer Look to Repeat; Sharapova, Nadal & Djokovic Seek to Regain Crown; Murray, Azarenka Aim for First Wimbledon Title
Beginning Monday, June 24, tennis fans will enjoy ESPN’s exclusive coverage of one of sport’s most prestigious events, The Championships, Wimbledon, from the grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Complete and live daily marathon telecasts totaling 140 hours – plus 800 on ESPN3’s multi-screen presentation of all TV courts – will take fans from first ball to the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Championships, Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7, respectively.
All the action on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is accessible in 55 million households to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Charter, Cox or AT&T U-verse.
ESPN’s tennis team returns to London: Chris Fowler will call matches and serve as studio host, as will Mike Tirico while Hannah Storm will host the Breakfast at Wimbledon programs. They will be joined by returnees Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Tom Rinaldi will provide reports and features and call matches as well. LZ Granderson of ESPN.com will also serve as a studio analyst and feature reporter.
After debuting “cross court coverage” to great acclaim a year ago, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will again both be live for three days to start the second week. From Monday, July 1 – widely considered the greatest day in tennis as all Round of 16 matches are played – through Wednesday, July 3, ESPN will focus on Centre Court while ESPN2 airs matches from Court One and elsewhere around the grounds.
In addition, ESPN3 will offer 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. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually via WatchESPN. It is available to 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.
On the “middle Sunday,” June 30, a scheduled day off as is Wimbledon tradition, ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. ABC will also present encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 6 and 7 at 3 p.m.
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.
Surveying the Fields
The “big four” of men’s tennis – winners of 32 of the last 33 Major championships – continue to dominate the final weekends of Grand Slam events (rankings may not necessarily correspond to seeds when brackets are announced Wednesday, June 19):
No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon champion and winner of the 2013 Australian Open, his seventh Grand Slam title.
No. 2 Andy Murray fell in the Wimbledon final a year ago to Roger Federer before turning tables on Federer a few weeks later by winning the Olympic Gold Medal on the same Centre Court. Murray finally broke through and took the 2012 US Open (defeating Djokovic) but this year after reaching that Australian Open final vs. Djokovic was forced to skip the French Open because of injury.
At No. 3, 17-time Major champion Federer defends a Wimbledon crown for the seventh time.
No. 5 Rafael Nadal, a two-time winner (2008, 2010), who comes off a dominating French Open, his 12th major victory.
Leading the field hoping to crack this group is No. 4 David Ferrer, who at 31 made a Grand Slam final for the first time in Paris and No. 8 Juan Martin Del Potro, the winner of the 2009 US Open who took the Bronze Medal at the 2012 Olympics.
On the Ladies’ side, there is:
Serena Williams then everyone else. Last summer she won her fifth Wimbledon – and returned to the All England Club to take the Olympic Gold Medal – followed by her fourth US Open title. The top-ranked player in the world is coming off her second French Open victory and at 31 is as powerful as ever.
The leading contenders include No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, who defended her Australian Open title this year; No. 3 Maria Sharapova who won in 2004 and recently reached the final of the French Open, No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska who lost to Williams in a three-set Wimbledon championship in 2012, and the 2011 champ, No. 8 Petra Kvitova.
ESPN, Inc. and Wimbledon
ESPN networks will show all of Wimbledon live, from first ball through the finals, including up to nine courts simultaneously on ESPN3 and the ESPN/ESPN2 “cross court coverage” for July 1-3:
ESPN and ESPN2 will combine for daylong live weekday action the first week, starting Monday, June 24, at 7 a.m. (ESPN on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; ESPN2 Wednesday and Thursday).
Breakfast at Wimbledon returns as a one-hour preview on ESPN of the day’s matches Saturday, June 29, and the live, national telecasts of the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Semifinals and Finals, Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7.
On the “middle Sunday,” June 30 – a scheduled day off as is Wimbledon tradition – ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. ABC will also air encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 6 and 7 at 3 p.m.
For the second Monday – Wednesday (July 1-3), ESPN will be live alongside ESPN2 to allow for live coverage of each and every match from the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals. In this unprecedented “Cross Court Coverage,” ESPN will focus on Centre Court matches while ESPN2 offers fans a “grounds pass” with action from Court 1 and other courts. The first of these three days, Monday, July 1 – when all 32 players are on the court in eight Gentlemen’s and eight Ladies’ Round of 16 matches, something that is unique to Wimbledon – is commonly referred to as “the greatest day in tennis.”
ESPN 3D will again televise five days of action live from Centre Court. ESPN 3D’s coverage will begin with the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals Wednesday, July 3, and continue through the Finals.
ESPN3 will provide a daily multi-screen offering of live play from all nine TV courts, including a simulcast of ESPN and ESPN2 action, plus press conferences totaling more than 800 hours.
ESPN.com will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:
Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, all-court scoring, match stats, Cover It Live conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line;
Five Things We Learned: Video series reviewing the top news of the day;
Grass Stains: A daily notebook wrapping up the best and worst of the day;
Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day;
Star Watch: Daily blog focusing on one of the game’s elite.
espnW.com will offer daily columns, blog posts and video, with an emphasis on the women’s side of the tournament.
ESPNDeportes.com will provide live scores and draws, in depth news and coverage of Latin American players, columns, blogs, live chats, video, highlights and news, including ESPiando Wimbledon that will recap the day’s play. The site will also feature Slam Central, a special index page dedicated to all four Grand Slams.
ESPN International – the home of tennis’ Grand Slam events in the Caribbean and in Spanish-speaking Latin America– will air over 70 hours of live Wimbledon coverage to 35 million homes on its multiple television networks throughout the region. Notable among those, ESPN+ in the Southern Cone will present 40 additional live hours plus daily prime-time highlight programs. Broadband’s ESPN Play — ESPN International’s multi-screen broadband service — will offer over 700 hours of live coverage throughout Latin American and the Caribbean with over 10 windows of simultaneous early round action available. ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team at Wimbledon is led by Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Edurado Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Louis Clerc along with reporters Nicolas Pereira and Pablo Stecco. Sam Gore and Mark Brown will describe the action for English-language feeds with analysts Jimmy Arias and Mark Donaldson.
ESPN Mobile TV will simulcast over 87 hours of live ESPN/ESPN2 coverage throughout the tournament.
ESPN On Demand (TV/Mobile) will offer historic matches and highlights of the 2013 Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ finals.
ESPN Mobile will provide point-by-point coverage of every Wimbledon match with live scores on the ESPN mobile Web and ScoreCenter app. Additionally, ESPN will offer video highlights of Wimbledon via the ScoreCenter app for iPhone. ESPN Alerts will also notify fans who opt in to receive alerts of developing stories, match results and highlights.
ESPN Interactive TV, now in its sixth year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage of five matches in addition to the match airing on ESPN2 or ESPN through the second Monday of the tournament through DirecTV. Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and a studio wrap-around presence hosted by SportsCenter anchor Steve Weissman, along with a roster of guest analysts. In addition to the video offerings, DirecTV viewers can access results, schedules, draws and other interactive features through the remote control “Red Button.” In total, ESPN will provide more than 350 hours of coverage through this unique application.
ESPN Classic will air championship matches upon (or near) their 5th, 10th….all the way to a 40th anniversary, the 1973 Ladies Championship between Billie Jean King and Chris Evert (Sunday, July 8, at 10 a.m.). The lineup includes the first Wimbledon titles for Stefan Edberg (1988), Steffi Graf (1988), Martina Navravtilova (1978) and Pete Sampras (1993), plus two matches pitting the Williams Sisters against each other (both on July 5, from 2003 and 2008. The schedule – which also includes related interview and documentary programming – begins Tuesday, July 2:
4 p.m. ET Schaap One on One: Martina Navratilova-Part I
4:30 p.m. Schaap One on One: Martina Navratilova-Part II
5 p.m. 1983 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Martina Navratilova vs Andrea Jaeger (30th Anniversary on July 1) – Navratilova won 6-0, 6-3, but in 2008 Jaeger claimed that she threw the match
6:30 p.m. SportsCentury: Steffi Graf
7:30 p.m. 1988 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Martina Navratilova vs Steffi Graf (25th Anniversary) – 19-year-old Graf defeats Navratilova for her first Wimbledon crown
9:30 p.m. SportsCentury: Martina Navratilova
10:30 p.m. 1983 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Martina Navratilova vs Andrea Jaeger (30th Anniversary on July 1) – Navratilova won 6-0, 6-3 but in 2008 Jaeger claimed that she threw the match
6 p.m. 1993 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Jana Novotna vs Steffi Graf (20th Anniversary) – Graf claimed her third consecutive Wimbledon title with a comeback in the final set from down 4-1.
3 p.m. 1988 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship: Boris Becker vs Stefan Edberg (25th Anniversary) – This was Edberg’s first Wimbledon title.
5 p.m. 1993 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship: Jim Courier vs Pete Sampras (20th Anniversary) – Sampras claimed his first Wimbledon title with a 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 win over Courier.
12 a.m. 1998 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship: Goran Ivanisevic vs Pete Sampras (15th Anniversary) – Sampras claimed his fifth Wimbledon title 6-7(2-7), 7-6(11-9), 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
4 p.m. 2003 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Serena Williams vs Venus Williams (10th Anniversary) – Serena claimed her second Wimbledon title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over sister Venus.
6 p.m. 2008 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Venus Williams vs Serena Williams (5th Anniversary) – Williams sisters face off with Venus taking a 7-5, 6-4 victory, her fifth Wimbledon title.
9:30 a.m. Schaap One on One: Billie Jean King
10 a.m. 1973 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Chris Evert vs Billie Jean King (40th Anniversary on July 7) – Billie Jean King defeated Evert 6-0, 7-5 to claim her fifth Wimbledon crown.
Noon SportsCentury: Chris Evert
12:30 p.m. SportsCentury: Martina Navratilova
1:30 p.m. 1978 Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship: Martina Navratilova vs Chris Evert (35th Anniversary on July 7) – Navratilova came back to defeat Evert 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 to claim her first Wimbledon title.
3:30 p.m. 30 For 30: Unmatched
4:30 p.m. SportsCentury: John McEnroe
5:30 p.m. Up Close Classics: Jimmy Connors
6 p.m. 1978 Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship: Bjorn Borg vs Jimmy Connors (35th Anniversary) – Borg took home his third consecutive Wimbledon crown with a straight-sets win over Connors.
One Year Ago…Beginning of a New Era & Unprecedented Success
In 2012, a new era of Wimbledon coverage was launched with the first all-live, all-ESPN presentation of the fortnight. Exclusivity brought increased viewership, a younger audience, an ESPN record rating for tennis, and soaring digital usage. Highlights:
With the addition of exclusivity, the audience for the ESPN/ESPN2 presentation was 65 percent larger than ESPN2’s audience in 2011, an average of 981,000 viewers (P2+), up from 596,000. The average rating was up 40 percent, from 0.5 to 0.7 (U.S. ratings).
The ESPN/ESPN2 rating is equal to NBC/ESPN2 a year earlier with a 0.7 U.S. rating, but the key male demographic groups enjoyed strong double-digit increases in impressions: Men 18-34 up 37 percent, Men 18-49 up 37 percent, and Men 25-54 up 28 percent.
The U.S. ratings of 2.0 and 2.5 for the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s matches represent increases of five percent and 39 percent, respectively, over 2011.
The Gentlemen’s Championship drew a 2.9 coverage rating, an ESPN record for tennis. In fact, ESPN posted its top five Wimbledon ratings (ESPN or ESPN2) in its 10-year history covering the event.
Consumption across ESPN’s digital platforms nearly tripled from 2011. ESPN3/WatchESPN registered 126 million live minutes of viewing across all platforms, up 182 percent.
2012: A Year of Memorable Storylines
The 2012 fortnight at Wimbledon culminated with a weekend of compelling, indeed historic, storylines:
In the Ladies’ Championship, concluding a two-year comeback from injury and illness, Serena Williams captured her 14th Major title, fifth at Wimbledon and her first Grand Slam event victory since Wimbledon in 2010.
ESPN continued to air live from Centre Court (totaling nine hours) with both the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles Finals. First, Great Britain saw its first Wimbledon male champion of any kind when unseeded Jonathan Marray and his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen proved victorious in a stirring five-set affair.
The telecast concluded with Serena Williams returning to the court alongside her sister Venus to take their fifth Wimbledon Doubles title together.
The Gentlemen’s Championship was sure to provide headlines regardless of the outcome. Andy Murray stepped onto Centre Court knowing it had been 76 years since Great Britain cheered their own as Wimbledon champ. In the end, Roger Federer had won a record-tying seventh time and extended his unmatched tally to 17 Grand Slam events titles. It was the first time the Wimbledon Championship had been decided with the roof closed (middle of third set).
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012. Exclusivity for the US Open in an 11-year agreement begins in 2015.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
ESPN3, now in 85 million homes, carries every major global tennis event on the men’s and women’s circuit, including all four Grand Slam tournaments, every ATP World Tour 500 and ATP Masters 1000 event and WTA Premier events featuring all the top-seeded players. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.
ESPN & WIMBLEDON 2013
Date Time (ET) Event Network
Mon, June 24 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 – * Live
Tue, June 25 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Wed, June 26 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
Thur, June 27 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
Fri, June 28 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Sat, June 29 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Sun, June 30 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 1 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Round of 16, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Tue, July 2 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Wed, July 3 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Thur, July 4 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Fri, July 5 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Sat, July 6 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ladies’ Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Final ABC Tape
Sun, July 7 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ABC Tape
* – ESPN3 will start at 6:30 a.m. ET each day June 24 – July 5 (no matches June 30)