NBC announced that it was “simply outbid” for the rights to an event that the network has carried for 43 years, the Associated Press reports. ESPN is nearing a deal with Wimbledon that would bring an end to NBC’s association with the tennis tournament, the story says.
NBC said in a statement on Sunday that "we were simply outbid," noting that it would have liked to have continued the relationship. According to Sports Business Journal, NBC, Fox and ESPN had been competing for the rights over the past few months. The deal with ESPN means that the Wimbledon matches will be aired live on cable.
ESPN also plans to make matches available via its ESPN3 broadband service and mobile application Watch ESPN, the story says.
NBC’s latest four-year deal cost an average of $13 million per year and ended Sunday at the conclusion of this year’s tournament, the piece notes.