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ARD seeking Wimbledon rights deal

German public-service broadcaster ARD will bid for the live broadcast rights to the Wimbledon tennis championships from 2014 onwards, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Wimbledon’s incumbent German rights-holder, pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland, last week rejected a request from ARD to sublicense the live rights to Saturday’s women’s singles final between Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and France’s Marion Bartoli.

Sky’s current three-year Wimbledon contract expired following the end of this year’s tournament. The tender for a new three-year contract is still open and ARD plans to make a joint bid with fellow public-service broadcaster ZDF.

“After the experience of the last few days we will deal with this matter intensively from Monday in a bid to secure access to Wimbledon’s live images from 2014,” ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky said.

Sky is also said to be keen to extend its contract with Wimbledon.