BBC prolongs commitment to Queen's Club tournament to 2024
The BBC, the UK's public service-broadcaster, has renewed its deal to televise the Aegon Championships, the annual men's grass court tournament held at Queen's Club in London, until 2024.
The BBC's deal with the Lawn Tennis Association, the domestic governing body which is responsible for staging the event, also includes internet and radio rights.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: "It's great that the BBC will continue to bring it to audiences across all platforms until 2024. With a British tennis player as the current world number one, there's no better time for us to reinforce our commitment to the sport."
In addition, the UK's Andy Murray, the world number one, has announced his commitment to play at the tournament, which is considered one of the primary warm-up events before the Wimbledon 'grand slam' tournament, for the rest of his career.
Murray's defeat of Canada's Milos Raonic in the final of last year's tournament was watched by 3.7 million, according to the broadcaster.
Aegon, the multinational life insurance and pension company, has held the naming rights to the Queen's Club tournament since 2009, as part of its long-term sponsorship deal with the LTA.
However, in November, James Mercer, LTA commercial director, revealed that the body was seeking a new title sponsor for the 2018 edition, after Aegon opted not to continue its nine-year association with the tournament.
Late last year, the BBC revealed it had secured rights to Wimbledon until 2024, having only renewed its deal to 2020 in September 2015, with the present £40 million- ($50 million-) per-year deal not expiring until this year.
However, under the terms of this latest extension, the BBC and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the tournament organiser, have renegotiated the terms of the host broadcast agreement. As such, from 2018 the BBC will concentrate on the domestic output only, limiting its production outlay, while the AELTC said it will take responsibility for "providing a best-in-class service to its global media partners and continuing the great work done here by the BBC."
Last year, the BBC also extended its deal to show men’s tennis’ Barclays ATP World Tour Finals until at least 2018. It shares the rights with pay-TV's Sky.