ESPN To Air Roland Garros until 2008
ESPN Extends International Roland Garros Rights
By Tennis Week
ESPN has reached a new multi-year agreement with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) for telecast rights to Roland Garros, the world's premier clay court tournament, for Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, and North Africa, it was announced today. The new agreement ensures that ESPN will continue to televise Roland Garros in these regions — more than 70 countries and territories in all — through 2008.
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with the French Tennis Federation for Roland Garros," said Tim Bunnell, ESPN’s senior vice president for international programming and marketing. "Roland Garros is a gem in our annual program calendar and a vital centerpiece of our tennis lineup. ESPN is proud to showcase it to our viewers around the world."
ESPN’s television rights will be completely exclusive in Latin America, where ESPN’s pan-regional network will provide more than 80 original hours of tournament coverage this year. Additional coverage in Latin America will be provided by ESPN’s three regional networks — ESPN2, ESPN+, and ESPN Brasil. Tournament coverage begins on Monday, May 23rd.
“We are very pleased to renew once again the agreement with ESPN under new conditions that provide a greater level of exclusivity in Latin America," said Michel Grach, media director for the French Tennis Federation. "This agreement makes ESPN one of the French Tennis Federation’s main partners in terms of broadcast coverage."
ESPN’s telecasts in Latin America will be complemented by feature coverage on ESPN Deportes.com, the Spanish-language website, which will provide news and information, results, photo galleries, featured columns, and chats with ESPN commentators during the French Open fortnight.
ESPN has been televising Roland Garros internationally since 1996.