no thread yet? Great news for WTA fans, finally on the same level with ATP in terms of online tournament coverage
Tour, ATP Media Announce Digital Partnership
NEW YORK, NY, USA - An innovative digital partnership between ATP Media and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour was announced on Thursday, creating a single broadband online TV console to host and stream live matches and highlights packages from more than 40 of the biggest tennis events, set to begin in 2009.
The partnership will offer global tennis fans unique access to live, top-level tennis via the internet. In all, 20 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier events and 21 ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and 500s will be available on the new digital platform. With both Tours offering streamlined and more fan friendly calendar structures beginning in 2009, the digital initiative represents an important step towards presenting the sport to fans in a compelling and coordinated manner.
With 10 of the events on offer being combined or back-back tournaments on the respective 2009 calendars, fans will be able to find men's and women's tennis online in one place. The subscription-based service will offer the opportunity for fans to watch matches live, and highlights will also be available free of charge from both Tours. Packages will allow fans to subscribe to live action of either men's or women's events, or a combination of both, providing more than 500 matches for the year. In addition, in-depth highlights, daily round ups, exclusive player interviews and behind-the-scenes features will add increased depth and colour to the output, and will be offered in most cases free of charge to fans.
Stacey Allaster, President of the Tour, said: "The vast majority of tennis fans enjoy Tennis with a capital 'T', and this announcement represents an important step forward in presenting our sport to fans in a simple, compelling and unified manner. We are committed, along with partners like Sony Ericsson, to innovating our sport to make it as fan friendly and entertaining as possible. Collaborating with ATP Media marks a significant step forward in enabling more fans around the world to watch tennis week in and week out at the most important events."
Steve Plasto, CEO of ATP Media, said: "This exciting partnership with the Tour is simply about all fans being able to access the very best action the Tours have to offer in a single online destination. This is a unique collaboration in tennis."
ATP Media is the television and digital broadcast arm of the ATP and previously created the successful digital video platform of the ATP Masters Series and Tennis Masters Cup, atpmastersseries.tv.
ATP Media's current technical partner, Perform, which hosts atpmastersseries.tv, will oversee a joint redesign of the site by both Tours to create a single URL. Existing and new Video on Demand, content, live scoring and lots more exclusive video will still be available on the Tours' existing websites, atpworldtour.com and sonyericssonwtatour.com.
Digital development at the Tour has moved apace in 2008. The Tour has progressed and enhanced its digital presence and output via its website, not only with live streaming of selected Tier I finals, but also the Video on Demand presented by Dubai Duty Free application, offering action highlights from tournaments and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of life on the Tour.
The events that will be incorporated into the streaming platform include: the Medibank International in Sydney; the Open Gaz de France in Paris; the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship, Dubai; Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells; Sony Ericsson Open, Miami; the Family Circle Cup, Charleston; Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart; Internazioinali BNL d’Italia, Rome; Madrid Open, Madrid; Qatar Telecom German Open, Berlin; International Women’s Open, Eastbourne; Bank of the West Classic, Stanford; East West Bank Classic, Los Angeles; Western & Southern Financial Group, Women’s Open, Cincinnati; Rogers Cup, Toronto/Montreal; Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick, New Haven; Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo; China Open, Beijing; Kremlin Cup, Moscow; Sony Ericsson Championships, Doha; Rolex Masters Monte Carlo, Western and Southern Financial Group Masters Cincinnati, Shanghai Masters, BNP Paribas Masters, Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Rotterdam – ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament , Hamburg - Hamburg Open, Memphis – Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, Acapulco – Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Dubai – The Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Barcelona – Open Sabadell Atlantico Barcelona, Washington – Legg Mason Classic, Toyko – AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, Basel – Davidoff Swiss Indoors Basel, Valencia – Open De Tenis Comunidad Valenciana.