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Sports in brief: ESPN's deal with Wimbledon ends NBC's 43-year run


espn ends wimbledon's run with nbc

No longer will American tennis fans have to search for Wimbledon matches on TV.

All England Club officials achieved their goal of having the entire tournament televised live and by the same company in the United States under a new 12-year contract with ESPN. Tuesday's deal ends a 43-year run on NBC.

It had become an annual tradition with Wimbledon — complaints about NBC not showing every match live in all time zones. The network would have started airing the entire tournament live beginning in 2014 under its bid.

"There is no question the sports viewer nowadays wants to see things live," All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said on a conference call. "Therefore, as far as we're concerned, undoubtedly one of the advantages with this arrangement was to increase the amount of live coverage of Wimbledon."

ESPN had owned the rights to extensively televise early rounds of Wimbledon since 2003, with NBC picking up coverage as the tournament progressed, culminating with the "Breakfast at Wimbledon" broadcasts of the finals.

NBC had acknowledged Sunday it was losing one of its marquee events, saying in a statement, "while we would have liked to have continued our relationship, we were simply outbid."

more tennis

Tampa's Isner wins quickly in opener

Top-seeded John Isner and Nicolas Mahut are forever linked with the longest match in tennis history. They wasted little time in winning opening-round matches at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I.

Isner, of Tampa, needed just 63 minutes to beat Karol Beck 6-3, 6-2. Mahut defeated Sebastian Decoud 6-1, 6-0 in just 51 minutes.

"It's something we're not used to," said Isner, who outlasted Mahut in 11 hours, 5 minutes last year at Wimbledon.

Swedish Open: Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the second round in Bastad by defeating Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4. The Dane will next face Sofia Arvidsson, who beat Andrea Hlavackova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.


Report: Vogel to be named Pacers coach

The Pacers will make interim coach Frank Vogel permanent head coach, the Associated Press reported.

The Pacers have a news conference scheduled for today. Larry Bird, team president of basketball operations, called Vogel the favorite to get the job after the Pacers finished strong last season and made the playoffs.

WNBA: Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree scored 20 each, helping host Phoenix rally past a scary injury to guard Ketia Swanier to beat Los Angeles 101-82. Swanier was helped off the court after an elbow to the left eye by Sparks guard Kristi Toliver. … Jessica Davenport had 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks to lead host Indiana over Seattle 78-61. … Sylvia Fowles scored a season-high 34 to help Chicago snap a three-game losing streak with a 78-65 win over visiting Washington.

U-19 world championship: Jeremy Lamb of national champion Connecticut scored 35, including a baseline jumper with 1.5 seconds left in overtime, to lead the United States (5-0) to a 107-105 victory over Lithuania in the second round of FIBA's Under 19 World Championship in Riga, Latvia. Florida's Patric Young had two three-point plays in overtime, helping erase a six-point deficit.

et cetera

Colleges: A former North Carolina football player filed a lawsuit against the school and the NCAA, seeking reinstatement after being declared permanently ineligible for academic misconduct. DE Michael McAdoo is seeking damages from the school and the NCAA, which the lawsuit accuses of libel and "gross negligence" in ruling him ineligible based on inaccurate information.

Obituary: Mika Myllyla, a former Olympic cross country champion and Finnish skiing great whose life unraveled after a two-year doping ban, died at 41. National broadcaster YLE said he was found dead in his apartment in Kokkola, Finland. Mr. Myllyla won six Olympic medals, including gold in the classical 30-kilometer race at in 1998 at Nagano.

Times wires

Sports in brief: ESPN's deal with Wimbledon ends NBC's 43-year run 07/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 12:29am]
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