Play Ball: TTC, MLB Partner For French Open Web Streaming
By Tennis Week, 05/25/2007
It's a French Open field of dreams for tennis fans: even if you don't get The Tennis Channel, TTC still has your ticket to live French Open match coverage — free of charge. In a match of center court and center field, The Tennis Channel will play ball with Major League Baseball to bring both the 2007 French Open and 2008 Australian Open to the web.
The Tennis Channel has partnered with MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, in a multi-year agreement to stream live matches on multiple courts and supporting content to Tennis Channel’s web site during Roland Garros.
The online coverage of the French Open at www.TheTennisChannel.com
will complement Tennis Channel’s comprehensive broadcast coverage of the clay-court major starting on Sunday, May 27.
Powered by MLBAM, www.TheTennisChannel.com
will stream French Open matches live, allowing web viewers to choose from up to four simultaneous matches — all for free. In addition to live matches, TTC will provide other on-demand video content, including daily highlights, archived matches and original content.
A TTC spokesman told Tennis Week today that ESPN.com will also stream one French Open feed during its live window of coverage. ESPN2 will televise Roland Garros starting at noon Eastern time on Sunday, May 27.
TTC's pact with MLB is the first step in eventually streaming more tournament coverage over the Tennis Channel website once TTC acquires web rights.
"Tennis is a perfect fit for broadband coverage because there are many matches other than the one on center court usually shown on television," said Victoria Quoss, executive vice president of programming, network strategy, Tennis Channel. "Tennis Channel will help evolve the way the sport is covered, by allowing fans to see more matches and have more access to the players they want to see, but also, in doing so, allow us to grow both our business and the network’s brand."
The French Open partnership is the first event in Tennis Channel’s broadband relationship with MLBAM. The network plans to launch a more comprehensive video offering with the help of MBLAM that includes additional tournaments, among them the 2008 Australian Open. Under the arrangement MLBAM will also help with sponsorship and online advertising sales efforts.
"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Tennis Channel," said Leslie Gittess, vice president, business development, MLBAM. "We look forward to helping tennis fans enjoy the live action from Roland Garros."
MLBAM also runs or owns Major League Soccer's www.mlsnet.com
, Sports Net New York (home of the New York Mets) www.sny.tv
, and the official online story of New York City www.officialnycshop.com