PERFORM signs record $525m women’s sports live media rights deal

9th December 2014 1:12 pm GMT

On its return to life as a private company following it’s delisting from the London Stock Exchange Monday, digital sports content provider PERFORM Group has signed the largest live media rights deal in women's sports history.

Perform shares were delisted from the LSE’s main market yesterday, after the company applied for cancellation of its listing last month following its takeover by privately-owned Access Industries.

The company announced Tuesday its first major step in a “significant” ten-year growth plan, with a ground-breaking ten-year media agreement worth more than US$525m with incumbent partner, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
PERFORM said that the extended partnership is the largest live media rights and production venture in the history of the WTA and in women's sports.

“This is a game-changing and historic moment for our fans and for women's sport,” said WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster. “Our new broadcast strategy to produce all 2,000 main draw singles matches in partnership with PERFORM will deliver exponential global exposure for our players, tournaments and partners.”

For the first time as part of a major strategic move for the WTA, the aggregation and centralization of all WTA tournament media rights will deliver every WTA event across linear, digital and over-the-top (OTT) offerings.

The agreement introduces WTA Media, a joint endeavour between both companies which will deliver premium content to tennis fans worldwide.

WTA Media, together with tournaments, will produce all main draw singles matches and the semi-finals and finals of all doubles matches from 2017. In addition, WTA Media will increase its production of news content by 40 per cent. It will also deliver additional magazine shows and significant off-court content to support the WTA's mobile, digital and social media strategy.
“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful partnership with the WTA,” said PERFORM co-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.

Allaster said that the remarkable growth by PERFORM in less than ten years, as well as the company's ambitious direction provided a perfect framework for the “invaluable” partnership.

“We are extremely excited by a shared vision of delivering the quality and quantity content our fans deserve,” she said. “PERFORM's unprecedented investment in the WTA signals a new era - not only for women's tennis but also for women's professional sports the world around.”

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