London: The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and Perform, a British media company, have signed a record deal worth 535 million dollars for the broadcasting rights to the women's tennis tour in its annual calendar, triggering the single biggest commercial contract in the history of women's sport.
The newly signed deal will telecast full coverage of 54 events a year, in an attempt to wider advance the female sport.
Heather Bowler, communication vice-president of WTA, said that the deal was a defining moment not just for women's tennis, but for women's sport in general, adding that sports marketing has traditionally looked at men's sport and is hopefully seeing women's sport as an investment opportunity, the Guardian reported.
Things are now changing as it has been underexposed and underinvested, she added.
Bowler further said that the deal was made possible due to the current excitement and competitiveness of the women's game, where top players such as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are being challenged by the likes of Eugenie Bouchard, who reached this year's Wimbledon final, and Simona Halep, the Romanian world No 3.