WTA seals bumper TV deal worth £335m

New media rights contract worth more than $525m

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The Independent Online

The Women’s Tennis Association has agreed to a new media rights contract worth more than $525m (£335m) over the next 10 years.

The deal, announced Tuesday, keeps the WTA’s international television rights with its current broadcast distribution partner, Perform, but expands the scope of the relationship.

Their current agreement runs from 2013-16 but the new contract runs to 2026 with plans to produce every singles match, which is around 2,000 fixtures, for the first time.

WTA chairwoman Stacey Allastar called the new deal “a game-changer”, which guarantees annual TV rights fees of £21m from Perform, nearly double the current agreement. The deal includes “eight figures” a year in “production investment”.

Meanwhile, Martina Navratilova will take on her first big coaching role after agreeing to work with world No 6 Agnieszka Radwanska.

“She is my tennis idol,” said Radwanska. “Her achievements speak for themselves and I hope that I can learn from all her experience.”

Navratilova, 58, said: “I did not sleep very well last night, thinking about getting back into match mode and the competitions.”

She joins the trend of players hiring former stars as coaches, including Andy Murray with Ivan Lendl and then Amélie Mauresmo, Novak Djokovic with Boris Becker, Roger Federer with Stefan Edberg, Marin Cilic with Goran Ivanisevic, and Kei Nishikori with Michael Chang.

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