Lindsay will make her return at IW
FSN Retains Indian Wells, Miami Rights
By Richard Pagliaro
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Two-time Indian Wells champion Lindsay Davenport will return to the desert for the March 9-22 BNP Paribas Open.
The 32-year-old Davenport, who is pregnant with her second child, won't be joining the draw but she will be calling the shots as an analyst for Fox Sports Net's coverage of the tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. FSN, which signed a one-year deal with an option for renewal for Indian Wells, Miami and the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, has picked up its option and will televise both Indian Wells and Miami next month. Tennis Channel will also provide early-round coverage of both events.
Davenport, Sam Gore and Justin Gimelstob will serve as commentators for FSN's Indian Wells coverage, which begins on March 16 with live early-round coverage scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Eastern time. Later next month, Davenport will join Ted Robinson and Justin Gimelstob as the telecast team for FSN's Miami coverage.
FSN is scheduled to televise seven straight days of Indian Wells coverage starting on March 16th. From Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20 daily live coverage is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Eastern time followed by live coverage of the night sessions scheduled from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Eastern time.
Live coverage of the men's semifinals is set for Saturday, March 21st from 4 to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
FSN's live coverage of the men's and women's finals is scheduled for Sunday, March 22nd from 3 to 7 p.m. Eastern time.
Exactly how much live tennis you'll see depends upon where you live and what your regional FSN network opts to televise. Since FSN is comprised of regional networks each region has the option of televising available coverage completely or partially if they choose, though they are not bound to do so, FSN Vice President of Programming David Sussin told Tennis Week.
"We're not a single-feed network," Sussin said. "We're an assemblage of a bunch of regions and a sort of advantage of that is with Indian Wells, for instance, Fox Sports West could decide to expand its local coverage of Indian Wells beyond the times we are distributing nationally. Times are subject to change depending on what regional sports network you are watching."
In other words, to verify exactly what coverage is available in your area, please contact your regional FSN affiliate.
Tennis Channel will also televise two full days of live Indian Wells coverage. TC will air Indian Wells live on Saturday, March 14th from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Eastern and on Sunday, March 15th from 2 p.m. to midnight.
FSN will offer seven straight days of live Miami coverage starting on Saturday, March 28th and culminating with live men's semifinal coverage on Friday, April 3rd.
Daily coverage from Saturday, March 28 through Thursday, April 2nd is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m., with 9-11 p.m. night coverage slated for both Wednesday, April 1st and Thursday, April 2nd.
The network concludes its Miami coverage airing both men's semifinals live on Friday, April 3rd from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. As is the case with Indian Wells, regional FSN affiliates have the option to offer all or partial coverage so please check your FSN regional affiliate for the exact times in your area.
Tennis Channel will televise four days of the Sony Ericsson Open from Key Biscayne's Crandon Park. TC's Miami telecast schedule, including two days of live coverage (all times are Eastern):
Saturday, March 28 8:00 p.m. (live) Sunday, March 29 9:00 p.m. (tape delay) Monday, March 30 7:00 p.m. (live) Tuesday, March 31 10:00 p.m. (tape delay) ESPN, which had televised Indian Wells and Miami for several years, did not renew its broadcast rights for the tournaments in 2008.
FSN, which was approached by the ATP as a broadcast partner for Indian Wells and Miami as well as the 2008 Shanghai Tennis Masters Cup, signed a one-year agreement for cable and satellite broadcast rights to televise Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai early last year and picked up the option to renew those right this year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The tournaments are delighted with FSN's broadcast commitments to the events, both on a national and regional level, to two of the largest tournaments on the tours," an ATP spokesman told Tennis Week at the time the pact was finalized. "In establishing this new broadcast partnership, the ATP Masters Series and Tennis Masters Cup is expanding its presence in the U.S. television market by adding FSN to its long established broadcast partners in CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel."