ESPN Lands Multimedia Rights to Australian Open Through 2021
ESPN has secured the multi-platform rights to the Australian Open through 2021, following a 10-year extension with Tennis Australia that begins in 2012. The deal includes continued ESPN2 television coverage, Spanish-language U.S. rights for ESPN Deportes, and distribution in Latin America via ESPN International (2012-16). It also includes expanded rights for ESPN3.com, iTV (interactive television), and highlights on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile TV.
“Tennis fans know to start the year with ESPN and the Australian Open, the First Grand Slam, a great event combining the best in tennis with the beauty of summer from Down Under,” says John Skipper, ESPN EVP, content. “In January we expanded live coverage of the Australian Open to great success. We’re happy to work with Tennis Australia across all platforms to reach fans wherever they are.”
ESPN has televised the Australian Open since 1984, ESPN’s longest uninterrupted professional sports programming relationship. With the addition of the US Open in 2009, ESPN is the only network to ever hold the rights to all four Grand Slam events.
“ESPN’s coverage over the years continues to be both innovative and extensive,” Steve Wood, CEO of the Australian Open says. “ The sheer breadth and quality of the coverage is of the highest standard and gives Australian Open fans incredible insight into so many different aspects of our event. We’re delighted to continue this successful relationship.”
ESPN2’s live coverage of the Australian Open saw a 6% increase in household viewership in 2010, with an average of 427,000 homes tuning in on TV. In addition, the Australian Open accounted for nearly one million hours of action viewed on ESPN3.com, and 10.9 million page views on ESPN.com, more than double the 4.7 of 2009.