Approved application: Wimbledon Championships 2024

Published: 24 April 2024

Ofcom has given its consent to a request from the BBC to broadcast exclusive live coverage of non-finals play in the 2024 Wimbledon Championships (“the Championships”).

Coverage of non-finals play in the Championships will be broadcast by the BBC on BBC One and BBC Two, with additional coverage available through BBC Red Button and BBC iPlayer. The BBC also has national radio rights and intends to broadcast live coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live, among other stations.

In addition, Warner Bros. Discovery (“WBD”) has the rights to broadcast television highlights of non-finals play on its Eurosport channels.

Non-finals play in the Championships is designated as a Group B listed event for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act 1996 (“the Act”). The BBC therefore requires Ofcom's consent to broadcast exclusive live television coverage of non-finals play in the Championships, in accordance with section 101 of the Act. However, where a second broadcaster, in this case WBD, provides adequate secondary coverage of a Group B listed event, Ofcom can grant ‘automatic’ consent to broadcast without consultation.

Paragraphs 1.18 to 1.21 of Ofcom’s Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events provide that the services provided by the broadcasters must be in different categories and set out more information about what constitutes adequate secondary coverage. In this case, the BBC’s channels are ‘qualifying services’ and the Eurosport channels are ‘non-qualifying services’.

Having considered the information supplied by the BBC, and supplementary information provided by WBD, Ofcom has decided to grant automatic consent to the BBC’s request.

Live coverage of the Championship finals (designated as a Group A listed event) is to be shown by both the BBC and WBD. Where live coverage is not exclusive, Ofcom’s consent may not be required – see the exception in section 101(1) of the Act. In this case, Ofcom is satisfied that the arrangements do not require our consent.

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