Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and considered by most to be the holy grail of the tennis world.
For two weeks every summer it’s a national obsession, especially when British players are doing well.
Wimbledon has had a long relationship with television, almost from the start of broadcasting in the UK, as described here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/research/programming/wimbledon.
Tennis is an intimate and intense spectacle, filled with drama and perfect for the small screen.
Referred to by many players as the cathedral of tennis, Wimbledon Centre Court is the ultimate intimate and intense sports arena.
One on one
Although there are other variants of the game, the biggest matches are the singles. A true one on one battle and the ability of television to get close up, in amongst the fight, makes for a riveting viewer experience.
The closeness of television to the action creates an emotional link between viewer and player, often moving beyond national boundaries. From panto baddies to beloved masters, the intimacy of television makes viewers feel seriously invested.
The regular breaks between games allows viewers to pause, speculate and chat about the result, grab a drink or take a break, perfect for television.
The system of scoring makes some points a lot more vital than others, and in close games, the drama can be an intense viewing experience.
Television enables the viewer to examine the faces of the players, feel every emotion and see exactly how their temperament affects the game they produce.
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The sound of silence
Unlike many other sports, tennis has moments of absolute silence, those crucial match points where the crowd is so silent you hear the ball bounce, perfect TV.
The sense of continuity that 140 years of history brings gives us a feeling of communal viewing in a way nothing else could.
The cruelty of players having to sit side by side with their competitor emphasises the intensity of the duel unfolding before our eyes and is compelling viewing.
The movement of tennis is almost hypnotic, the movement from side to side and cross court covers the full screen, creating patterns which appeal to all viewers.