For the first time ESPN will exclusively televise live tennis back to the U.S. for the entire Wimbledon Championships. NBC had long held rights to the middle and final weekends until ESPN won a 12-year contract at the end of the 2011 tournament, thus ending tape delay complaints and confusion fans had with NBC.
ESPN will televise over 140 hours of live Wimbledon coverage across its networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ABC) starting next Monday, June 25, with day-long marathon telecasts through to the “Breakfast at Wimbledon” Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Finals, Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, respectively.
Wimbledon will still have a presence on network TV in the U.S. On the “middle Sunday,” ABC will air a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. For those in the U.S. who don’t get ESPN/cable TV, ABC will also reair the finals on the day they take place, July 7 and 8, at 3 p.m.
During the first three days of week two, ESPN and ESPN2 will air simultaneous matches from the Championships, providing U.S. tennis fans with a full Wimbledon viewing experience.
Also, 800 hours of the event will be streamed online via ESPN3 which will again offer its multi-screen offering of all televised courts, including a simulcast of ESPN/ESPN2 telecasts. All the action on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and iPad tablets via the WatchESPN app.
John McEnroe adds his name to the ESPN talent crew. McEnroe will be joined by Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Chris Fowler will call matches and serve as studio host, sharing that duty with Hannah Storm and Mike Tirico who makes his Wimbledon debut.
Tennis Channel will offer a nightly recap showing with highlights and news from the events of the day.
On the courts, three players dominate the top of the men’s game winning 28 of the last 29 Slams – No. 1-ranked and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, two-time champ and No. 2 Rafael Nadal who recently defeated Djokovic for the French Open crown, and No. 3 Roger Federer, who counts six Wimbledon crowns in his tally of 16 Grand Slam titles.
Among the women, six different women have won the last six Slams. Having just regained the No. 1 ranking with her first French Open title, 2004 Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova leads a very wide-open field.
2012 Wimbledon TV Schedule – ESPN2 (ALL Times Eastern)
Monday, June 25, 6:30 am – 5 pm, First Round, ESPN2
Tuesday, June 26, 7 am – 5 pm, First Round, ESPN2
Wednesday, June 27, 7 am – 5 pm, Second Round, ESPN2
Thursday, June 28, 7 am – 5 pm, Second Round, ESPN2
Friday, June 29, 7 am – 5pm, Third Round, ESPN
Saturday, June 30, 7 am – 3 pm, Third Round, ESPN
Sunday, July 1, 3 pm – 6pm, Review, ABC (Tape)
Monday, July 2, 7 am – 5 pm, Fourth Round, ESPN2
Monday, July 2, 8 am – 3 pm, Fourth Round Center, ESPN
Tuesday, July 3, 7 am – 5 pm, Women’s Quarterfinals, ESPN2
Tuesday, July 3, 8 am – 1 pm, Women’s Quarterfinals Center, ESPN
Wednesday, July 4, 7 am – 5 pm, Men’s Quarterfinals, ESPN2
Wednesday, July 4, 8 am – 3 pm, Men’s Quarterfinals Center, ESPN
Thursday, July 5, 7 am – 5 pm Women’s Semifinals, ESPN
Friday, July 6, 7 am – 5 pm, Men’s Semifinals, ESPN
Saturday, July 7, 9 am – 2 pm, Women’s Final, ESPN
Sunday, July 8, 9 am – 3 pm, Men’s Final, ESPN
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