This is the first time in eons that Channel 9 hasn’t broadcast the Championships from Wimbledon, so it wil be interesting to see what the 7 Network come up with. Certainly this approach of sharing the broadcast so that the early games are not missed/replayed late is a great start, and it should mean that tennis fans are happy from round 1. Should. From the press release:

The era of waiting up until late at night for delayed coverage of the world’s oldest and most venerated tennis tournament is over.

Beginning on Monday June 20, Seven will broadcast The 125th Championships, Wimbledon 2011, live throughout Australia.

The broadcast will be hosted by Todd Woodbridge with expert commentary from John Newcombe on the 40th anniversary of his third and final singles’ victory at the All England Club. The team also includes Rennae Stubbs and Sam Smith.

In addition, Seven will be taking commentary from a clutch of the biggest names in tennis via the host broadcaster BBC, among them John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lindsay Davenport and Tim Henman.

During the first week the live broadcast kicks off at 9pm (AEST) on 7TWO, and from 10pm on 7TWO during the second week.

The coverage will then be on Channel 7 from 11pm each night.

All singles and doubles finals, as well as the singles’ semi-finals, will also be exclusively live on Channel 7, while starting on 7TWO in some states.

Wimbledon 2011 marks the first time the Seven Network has broadcast this iconic British event. But as host broadcaster of The Australian Open for almost 40 years the network brings a wealth of experience and expertise in covering the game of tennis.

Viewers will enjoy the best two matches of each day’s play, exclusively live, while remaining plugged into all the action and colour around the grounds.

Seven’s Head of Sport, Saul Shtein, commented:

“This is an historic moment for Seven.

“As the home of The Australian Open, the AFL, V8 Supercars and the Melbourne Cup we have long been the premier sports broadcaster in Australian television. And now we can welcome Wimbledon to the mix, the Holy Grail of tennis.

“Having secured the first selection of the best two matches each day, viewers on Seven will enjoy the pick of the tennis crop. And best of all we can guarantee it will be live on either 7TWO or Channel 7 and it won’t cost them a cent.”

Host Todd Woodbridge said:

“I can’t wait to give the viewers at home an intricate perspective of the Championships.

“Our commentary team has so much experience and success at the Championships; that inner knowledge of the pressures, traditions and expertise of playing on grass will make great viewing.”

In the lead-up to the tournament Channel 7 will also be airing:

• The Spirit of Wimbledon (11am Sunday June 5, 12, 19, 26 on 7TWO) – a four-part series that tells the compelling story of the oldest tournament in tennis. In 2011 Wimbledon celebrates its 125th anniversary and to commemorate the landmark occasion, this documentary series will look back at the history of the Championships.

• The Wimbledon Film (10am, Sunday June 19 on 7TWO) – a documentary on the definitive story of the 124th Championships in 2010.

• A 2011 Wimbledon Preview (11.30am Sunday June 19 on 7TWO) outlining the form of this year’s players.


The Championships, Wimbledon – from 20/06, 7Two & Ch7.