Coverage of the iconic Wimbledon tennis tournament has led to record-breaking numbers for U.K. broadcaster BBC. There were 54.3 million streams of the BBC’s coverage on streamer iPlayer and BBC Sport online during the two-week long competition – up from 53.8 million in 2022. On BBC One, there was a peak audience of 11.3 million to watch Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in five sets in the men’s singles finals, the highest since the U.K.’s Andy Murray won in 2016. The match was also streamed live 4.1 million times on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online, an increase of 58% from 2022.
During the women’s singles final, where Czech player Markéta Vondroušová triumphed over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, there was a peak audience of 4.5 million on BBC One – an increase from 2022’s 3.1 million. The match was streamed 1.3 million times on BBC iPlayer, an 85% increase from 2022. Across the tournament, 25.6 million watched Wimbledon on BBC TV.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “It’s great to see that we have been able to meet the viewing demands of audiences, with significant increases in streaming of both the men’s and women’s finals, and a huge peak on BBC One on Sunday. We are continually committed to bringing the very best coverage of Wimbledon to audiences across the U.K., so I’m enormously proud that we have been able to do that once again this year.”
Laura Florence has been named senior VP global FAST channels at Fremantle, reporting to Jens Richter, CEO of commercial and international. Florence will lead on Fremantle’s global FAST strategy and will be based in LA. Previously senior VP and general manager at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Florence oversaw Redbox and Crackle+ digital platforms including TVOD, AVOD, FAST products and FAST distribution for the app and channel portfolio to over 120 endpoints across 15 platforms.
Nick Wrenn has joined CNBC International as VP of events and programming, reporting to John Casey, president and managing director. Wrenn joins from Meta where he was the news programs and policy lead and led a news partnerships team. He was previously VP and managing editor at CNN, where he headed global teams across the U.S., EMEA and APAC regions.
In this new role, based in London, Wrenn will oversee feature programming and the international events strategy, covering both editorial and sponsored events.
BritBox U.K. has acquired “Fat Friends,” the Kay Mellor comedy-drama that first aired on ITV in 2000. Produced by Mellor’s Rollem Productions in association with Banijay U.K.’s Tiger Aspect Productions and Yorkshire Television, the BAFTA-nominated show follows the lives of a group of Leeds-based slimming club members and their attempts to lose weight. The cast includes Alison Steadman, Gaynor Faye, Ruth Jones, James Corden and Josie Lawrence. Following a launch on BritBox Australia, BritBox U.K. has acquired all four seasons of “Fat Friends” from Banijay Rights, which handles global distribution for the series.
Following the success of “British Scandal,” Wondery and Amazon Music have unveiled “Terribly Famous,” a U.K. original podcast taking listeners inside Britain’s celebrity culture to chart the lives of its biggest stars. It will launch with Adele, with later seasons confirmed for Victoria Beckham, Zayn Malik and Lily Allen. Hosting the podcast are actor, improviser and stand-up comedian Emily Lloyd-Saini (“Code 404”) and fellow actor, comedian and writer Anna Leong Brophy (“Shadow & Bone”).
Meanwhile, U.K.-French sales agent, distribution and production company Alief has revealed a trailer for Ted Raimi-led psychological thriller, “Failure!,” directed by Alex Kahuam (“Forgiveness”), which will have its world premiere at FrightFest on Aug. 28. Alief picked up worldwide rights at Cannes in May after “Failure!” made its debut at the Fantastic Pavilion. “Failure!” follows James (Raimi, “The Quarry”), who has a big debt with the bank and is given one hour to choose between financial ruin or murder in order to protect his family. As the hour progresses he finds his home and phone invaded by multiple characters pulling him in different directions, gradually adding to his distress and his unravelling.
The film also stars Merrick McCartha (“Senior Year”), Melissa Diaz (Ruthless), John Paul Medrano (“Seven Days”), Daniel Kuhlman (“Voodoo MacBeth”) and Noel Douglas Orput. Kahuam and Raimi produced Failure! along with Marco De Molina, Kayli Fortun and Jose D. Rodriguez via Kahuam’s Promotora NAE and De Molina’s Spacebrain Entertainment.