Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
December 9, 2014: Calling it a "game-changing and historic moment," the Women's Tennis Assn. has signed a ten-year media agreement valued at more than $525 million with its incumbent multimedia rights partner, Perform, which both parities said would be the "largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women's sports."
According to WTA and U.K.-based Perform, the "aggregation and centralization of all WTA tournament media rights will deliver every WTA event across linear, digital and over-the-top (OTT) offerings." That includes some 2,000 singles matches and 300 semifinals and finals of all doubles matches.
The agreement also includes the formation of WTA Media, a joint endeavor between WTA and Perform that "will deliver unprecedented premium content to tennis fans worldwide."
In addition, WTA Media will create magazine shows and off-court content to support the WTA's mobile, digital and social media strategy.
The majority of WTA events that air in the U.S. are broadcast by ESPN and Tennis Channel.
"This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women's sport.," Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman & CEO, said in a statement. "Perform's unprecedented investment in the WTA signals a new era — not only for women's tennis but also for women's professional sports around the world."
According to Perform's Joint-CEO, Simon Denyer, "We are strong believers in the exceptional sport entertainment value of the WTA and are committed to driving the value for all WTA members and partners. This deal also delivers maximum exposure to the WTA's global fans on multiple platforms. This is a ground-breaking and innovative partnership with the WTA and is also a major first step in a significant 10 year growth plan for Perform."
The Top Ten ranked WTA players for 2014 are Serena Williams (who also was named the WTA "Player of the Year"), Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Dominka Cibulkova.