STAR TV isn't going to have Wimbledon all its own way after all. TVB has been advertising Wimbledon coverage but up until now hasn't shown any. On Saturday night it got into the spirit by showing the highlight documentary about last year's tournament. It would have been better before this year's got under way but still good. This week it enters the fray proper, serving up highlights of the day's play after the news each night through to Wednesday. Then Pearl goes live from the semi-finals stages starting on Thursday through to the men's and women's singles finals on Saturday and Sunday. This sudden development came about because TVB only finalised a deal on the rights in early May. It wasn't enough lead-up time for Pearl to prepare its marketing and advertising in time to show the quarter-finals live. The irony is that Pearl's bid was lower than what it bid the previous year. For the past six years ATV World has had the rights. This is a three-year deal for Pearl so in forthcoming years it will be able to give more live coverage. It is already identified as the tennis channel through live coverage of the Salem and Marlboro tournaments in Hong Kong. For this year's Wimbledon, Pearl's studio team will be Andrew Sams and Don Bozarth. Its match commentary will be the BBC feed so that may give Pearl the edge over Brian Langley and Vijay Amritraj on STAR. But after the fireworks of the first week you can't help thinking STAR has had the best of it already. There have been a number of rain interruptions but the tournament seeds have been falling faster than the rain has. Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Thomas Enqvist, Boris Becker, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Monica Seles are all out already leaving the path seemingly clear for Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf. Drained, spent, exhausted. That was the verdict of the England and Germany players after their semi-final epic at Euro 96. The same could be said for the TV audience here, many of whom had not only to stay up late but to find a bar where they could get in without spending outrageous cover charges. The issue of rights for big events has been reopened in a big way by feelings of resentment at Wharf's exclusive deal for the competition. The fee which Wharf paid for Euro 96, apparently, was close to US$500,000. According to Pearl that amount is more than double any fee the terrestrial channel had paid for the event before. Basketball fans pining since the end of the NBA Championships can see the US Dream Team in exhibition games on ESPN warming up for the Atlanta Olympics. On July 7 (Saturday) they take on a College All-Stars team and on Sunday, July 8, they take to the court against Brazil. Tour de France coverage on ESPN started yesterday with the first stage. It continues with half-hour highlight shows each day. Last year's presentation by Phil Liggett and Adrian Karsten was one of the best sport productions of the year.