ESPN all-in for Wimbledon
Wimbledon begins Monday, which is nothing new. But this is: After a 43-year relationship with NBC, the network no longer will be part of the coverage.
The fortnight will be all ESPN, all the time, for a total of 140 hours on ESPN and ESPN2 and another 800 on the online service ESPN3 as part of a 12-year rights deal.
Oh, and this: All of it will be shown live in all time zones (with replays of the finals on ABC for those who do not have cable TV or who opt to sleep late). So no more worrying about conflicts with the "Today" show delaying tennis.
"During negotiations, it was abundantly clear that bringing fans live matches was of paramount importance to both the All England Club and ESPN, no doubt about it," said Jason Bernstein, ESPN's senior director of programming and acquisitions. "I think fans have required live, and that's what we're determined to deliver."