Your Comments: ESPN, Tennis Channel Get US Open Broadcast Rights
by Staff | May 12th, 2008
  • 15 Comments

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 12, 2008 — The USTA, ESPN and Tennis Channel today announced a groundbreaking television and multi-platform partnership creating a summer-long “Open Season” for tennis featuring more than 400 national television hours for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series — an increase of nearly 100 hours.


Commencing in 2009, ESPN and Tennis Channel will join CBS, and become the US Open cable television broadcasters for the first time. Under the new deal, the US Open will receive 200 hours of total coverage, an increase of over 50 hours — the most in US Open history. This marks the first time that the Series and the US Open will be carried by the same cable broadcast partner — creating a more consistent TV package for the sport. For 2008, USA Network will remain the US Open’s exclusive cable broadcaster.

For 2009 and beyond, ESPN2 will become the lead cable broadcaster for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series, broadcasting nearly 200 hours of tennis coverage during the eight-week North American summer tennis season. Tennis Channel, which continues as a Series broadcaster with nearly 150 hours of Series coverage, will now also broadcast more than 60 hours of live US Open coverage. For the first time, Tennis Channel also will broadcast daily US Open preview and highlight shows. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast nearly 40 hours of live US Open coverage — bringing the overall national coverage of tennis during the summer season to more than 400 hours.

The six-year deal will also deliver the US Open across multiple platforms including ESPN, ESPN2, Tennis Channel, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN International, ESPN360 broadband programming, ESPN.com, TennisChannel.com, and ESPN Mobile Properties. In addition, USOpen.org retains all rights to live streaming of US Open matches.

“This completes a five-year process of reinventing the television and digital landscape for the sport of tennis in North America,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO Pro Tennis, USTA. “Tennis will now be prominently featured for eight straight weeks on ESPN — the premiere destination in sports; Tennis Channel — our sport’s namesake network; and CBS — our longtime network partner. This new partnership will provide more tennis, to more people, in more ways than ever before.”

“Tennis has provided many memorable moments in ESPN history, and to finally acquire the excitement and drama of the US Open is a crowning achievement,” said John Skipper, ESPN Executive Vice President, Content. “The sport is a perfect fit for our growing digital businesses, and fans will know to find the best tennis action all year on ESPN2 and on ESPN360.com.”

US Open Television Coverage

ESPN’s US Open coverage will include approximately 100 hours, including weekday afternoon coverage and exclusive weekday primetime broadcasts. Tennis Channel will broadcast more than 60 live hours from the US Open, including exclusive primetime broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday evenings of Labor Day weekend. Below is a summary of the schedule and a full US Open TV schedule is attached:

First Week

• ESPN2: Live every weekday from 1-6 pm and primetime from 7-11 pm.
• Tennis Channel: Live every weekday from 11-2 pm; live outer court coverage from 2-6 pm; daily Preview Show from 10-11am; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Labor Day Weekend

• CBS: Live coverage from 11-6 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
• ESPN2: Live coverage on Monday from 7-11 pm.
• Tennis Channel: Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 pm; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Second Week/Quarterfinals

• ESPN2: Live Tuesday — Thursday from 11-6 pm and live primetime quarterfinals from 7-11 pm.
• Tennis Channel: Live outer court coverage from 11-6 pm; daily Preview Show from 10-11am; nightly Highlights Show at 11pm followed by encore of matches until 10 am the next morning.

Finals Weekend

• CBS: Live coverage during Finals weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Men’s Doubles Final, the Men’s and Women’s Semifinals, the Women’s Primetime Final on Saturday night and the Men’s Final on Sunday.
• ESPN2: Live coverage of Women’s Doubles Final at 1 pm Sunday; US Open Wrap-Up Show from 8-10 pm.


Also Check Out:
2009 Australian Open TV Schedule
Indian Wells, Miami Tennis Events No Longer on ESPN
French Open TV Schedule – Men’s Semifinals And Weekend
Say Goodbye to Tape Delay! ESPN Snatches Wimbledon Rights from NBC
2011 French Open TV Schedule

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15 Comments for Your Comments: ESPN, Tennis Channel Get US Open Broadcast Rights

nick Says:

Sounds great to me. The more coverage the better. It helps if it is live and not delayed because it is hard to watch a 3 hr match if your RSS feed already told you who won.


Joel Says:

Now if we can get decent ATP Masters coverage in the US…


Pete Says:

Not a fan… USA actually shows everyone and not just American matches that suck… ESPN in my opinion, chooses to show the top seeds over good matchups… USA does a much better job, but ESPN has better volume and advertising dollars for tennis to pass.


Steven Balusik Says:

The only problem with USA network is their production is terrible. You can’t see the ball. Espn does a great job as long as they let the Tennis Channel pick up when they are not showing the matches.


MariaP Says:

The problem is that the USTA just cares about the USO and the USO series.
So no one in the US gets to see IW, Miami, and the result, no one in the US follows tennis anymore.
The USTA keeps issuing positive press releases, but there are Master series and women’s Tier I’s going on, and they don’t even get reported on Sportscenter.
If you live in the US, go to a sports bar and ask about Dinara Safina. See if any US sports fan knows she just beat Henin and S Williams to win a Tier I.

Then ask about the Yankees’ rotation. That, they know about.


Glenn Says:

I’m not sure. I liked Fox’s coverage of the AO – since Fox has several sports networks, ALL (or at least three) courts were able to be televised. Will ESPN and Tennis Channel give Tennis fans that same selection, or are they just going to give snippets of matches from different courts?


Maya Says:

Plea to Cablevision and The Tennis Channel: work out a deal because many subscribers have been stranded without a way to watch our beloved sport.


richard mermin Says:

who cares, if they won’t show doubles? most of the audience are doubles players, and would line up to see their sport if only they could know when. What could have been better tv tennis than Llodra & Clement again the Bryan in Davis Cup? or against Ram & Ehrlich in the Australian final we were lucky to see on Sky Tv down under.

One of the channels should gain rights to present doubles while the rest obsess with headliners.


April Says:

I am so glad that the U.S. Open will get more coverage. I can’t believe that The Tennis Channel did not have this before. They always give the best commentaries and the best highlights. ESPN is next in line also.


Jim Wagner Says:

I have been very disapointed in ESPN’s coverage
of Wimbledon. There are too many and too much time on commentary. Tennis is not being shown.
A lot of verbal diarea when good tennis is being played and not being shown. Also the ‘good old boy’ mentality is ovious when they continue to cut away to a first or second set of a gentlemens
match from a very close and interesting second or third set of a ladies match. Are they really giving equal coverage. The commentary when showing tennis is all that is required plus a occasional interview is of interest. I like to watch Tennis not the excessive amount of commentary an off the court showmanship. Just let them play and not try to second guess every move they make. Just check out the Tennis Channel for a more professional coverage.


Ed DeRouin Says:

Watching Wimbledon on ESPN is extremely frustrating. Endless commentary on everything but the tennis matches being played. I can hear the cheers of the fans in the background, but the match is not being shown! If this were a football game, they wouldn’t miss a single play, but for tennis they seem to think we’d rather hear pundits talk than watch the play. The Tennis Channel should be covering the play ESPN doing the previews and highlights, not the other way around.


rick Says:

What young dickhead changed the score format at the top of the tv screen for wimbledon? I can’t tell who won/lost the previous sets. why did it need changing?


fernando larrañaga Says:

¡quisiera saber porque la mayoría de los comentaristas del tenis dicen Winbeldon si realmente deberían decir WINBLEDON….

Gracias


octavio rene Says:

porque Rafael Nadal se agarra el trasero antes de cada servicio y otras veces durante el punto también lo hace….


bradley nelson Says:

Where can I purchase the DVD with Federer/Nadal match with the IF music background?…thank you

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