The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has announced a ten-year media agreement worth over half a billion dollars with digital content specialists Perform – with the extended partnership representing the largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women’s sports as a whole.
The long-term deal will see all WTA tournament media rights aggregated and centralised before being distributed through linear, digital and over-the-top offerings.
The partnership will also see the creation of WTA Media, a joint venture between the tour and Perform that will deliver all content worldwide. WTA Media will work with tournaments to produce all main draw singles matches and the semi-finals and finals of all doubles matches from 2017.
According to the WTA, the partnership will increase production of tour-related news content by 40% whilst delivering additional magazine shows and off-court content via mobile, digital and social platforms.
The WTA and Perform are currently in the middle of a four-year partnership in which both parties promised to ‘double the overall exposure’ of women’s tennis between 2013 and 2016.
As part of the new deal Perform has guaranteed the WTA an annual average of more than US$50 million a year, which more than doubles the $21 million WTA tournaments are currently estimated to generate from media rights annually.
WTA chief Stacey Allaster said of the deal: ‘This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women's sport.’
‘Our new broadcast strategy to produce all 2000 main draw singles matches in partnership with Perform will deliver exponential global exposure for our players, tournaments and partners.’
Simon Denyer, joint-CEO at Perform, added: ‘We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful partnership with the WTA. 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 ten-year growth plan for Perform.’