ESPN serves up more tennis in the UK

UK pay-television broadcaster ESPN acquired rights in the UK and Ireland for 14 ATP and WTA tennis tournaments, continuing its recent expansion into sports beyond its core offering of football and American sports.

This year, ESPN will provide live coverage of 11 ATP World Tour 250 tournaments, starting with the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston in April, followed by the Portugal Estoril Open and the Serbia Open, both also in April. In July ESPN will cover the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur, the Studena Croatia Open, the Atlanta Tennis Championships, the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad, and the Bet-At-Home Cup Kitzbühel. TheWinston-Salem Open will be shown in August, followed by the St Petersburg Open and the Malaysian Open in September.

The pay-television broadcaster will also show three events from the WTA Tour, beginning with the Estoril Open in Portugal, from April 30. The other two WTA events are the Austria Internationaux de Strasbourg in May, and the Bulgaria Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Sofia in October.

Jeroen Oerlemans, vice president TV channels, ESPN EMEA, said: “As we continue to expand our content in the UK and Ireland, we’re delighted to add outstanding tennis tournaments from the ATP and WTA circuits. Through and other media around the world, ESPN has a long and extensive association with tennis that we will look to expand in the UK and Ireland as we broaden our range and depth of sports programming.”

In recent months, ESPN’s moves to broaden its sports portfolio have included acquisitions of golf and darts content, in deals for the Australian PGA Championship and Australian Open golf tournaments, and the BDO World Professional Darts Championships.