German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF have agreed a sublicensing deal for rights to the WTA Finals, the season-ending showpiece of the Women’s Tennis Association calendar.
German news agency DPA said the broadcasters have acquired the rights through an agreement with 7Sports, the sports business division of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. This year’s WTA Finals will take place from October 23-30 in Singapore.
ARD and ZDF do not have a strong history of live tennis coverage, but the Quotenmeter.de website said the broadcasters have been drawn to the WTA Finals having gained strong ratings for their coverage of the tennis tournaments at the 2016 summer Olympic Games, along with the rise of Germany’s Angelique Kerber to world No.1 in the WTA singles rankings.
Kerber (pictured) has enjoyed a stellar year, winning the Australian Open and US Open grand slams and losing in the final at Wimbledon. Her defeat to Monica Puig in the women’s final at Rio 2016 drew 5.56 million viewers for ZDF.