WTA signs new four-year broadcast deal
LONDON -- The increasing popularity of women's tennis has helped the WTA Tour sign a new television deal, which will make the sport more watchable for armchair fans, the organization said on Friday.
The four-year deal is an extension of the current agreement with broadcaster Eurosport and Regency Enterprises.
"There will be electronic line-calling, pre-match player interviews, interviews with coaches," WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott told Reuters.
"Things that are being discussed are possibly allowing coaching during matches, possibly putting microphones on players."
Scott said the new technology would take second place to the players themselves.
"We have to tread very carefully with the players. These are not initiatives to change the rules of tennis; this is about the packaging and marketing of the sport," he said.
"It needs to have the buy-in and support of the players; this is sport and entertainment but sport comes first.
"We should almost double the revenue we made from the last four years," he said.
"On a guaranteed basis alone it's a 30 percent increase to the prior deal." Angelo Codignoni, Eurosport's chief executive and president, said: "Last year, 80 million viewers in total watched the tour; we aim to build on these figures by attracting new fans."