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reyrey
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:43 PM
According to the ESPN website, the two networks will share the rights to broadcast both the French and Aus Open. ESPN2 will broadcast 55 hours while the Tennis Channel will broadcast 100 hours.

Linnie
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:50 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=Avc6hPxVmBZe5JFYfg9H5zM4v7YF?slug=ap-espn-tennischannel&prov=ap&type=lgns


ESPN2, The Tennis Channel to jointly air French, Australian Open
January 30, 2007

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) -- ESPN and The Tennis Channel will share U.S. cable TV and multimedia rights for the French Open and Australian Open through 2011 under an agreement announced Tuesday.

In August, The Tennis Channel bought the U.S. cable TV rights to the French Open previously held by ESPN. With the new deal, The Tennis Channel will air more than 100 hours of the clay-court Grand Slam, while ESPN2 will have 55 hours.

Beginning with the 2008 Australian Open, ESPN2 will continue as the main network from Melbourne; it's aired more than 120 hours of the tournament in recent years. The Tennis Channel will now be able to show up to 100 hours of that tournament when ESPN2 is not on the air. Serena Williams (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/134/)' upset of Maria Sharapova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/403/) last Friday night in the Australian Open women's final drew a 1.9 rating, the highest ever for a tennis broadcast on ESPN2. The previous best was a 1.5 rating for the Australian Open women's final in 2005, when Williams beat Lindsay Davenport (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/93/).

Kipling
Jan 30th, 2007, 06:55 PM
ESPN and The Tennis Channel have entered into a multi-year arrangement to share rights to the Australian Open and French Open through 2011.

The networks announced they will share coverage of the Australian Open beginning in 2008, with The Tennis Channel adding 100 hours of live and prerecorded programming to ESPN's coverage. The Australian Open has been televised exclusively on ESPN and ESPN2 since 1984.

The Tennis Channel acquired U.S. broadcast and new media rights to the French Open last August from the French Tennis Federation. ESPN and ESPN2 had televised the French Open exclusively from 1986-1993 and from 2002-06.

"This landmark deal is a win-win-win for fans, the sport and the networks, expanding the coverage of these two premiere events and keeping ESPN the Grand Slam Network," said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. "ESPN, the leading sports brand, will team with The Tennis Channel, dedicated 24/7 to the sport, to build both the French Open and Australian Open brands and increase exposure on television, online and via broadband in a manner that hasn't been seen before."

ESPN2 will present 55 hours of action from Paris starting this year, beginning on Sunday, May 27. The network's schedule will resume Tuesday through Friday of the first week and Monday through Thursday the second week with noon-6:30 p.m. ET time slots. ESPN2 will televise both women's semifinals live and The Tennis Channel the men's semifinals.

Both The Tennis Channel and ESPN will be employing advanced new media applications for the French Open, including highlights and live streaming for broadband ESPN360, ESPN.com and TheTennisChannel.com.

"When you match the country's biggest, most-important, sports media brand with tennis' only fully dedicated, 24-hour multimedia platform, you're able to cross-promote and cross-platform with one another in a precise, integrated approach that will truly move the game forward," said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, The Tennis Channel. "Specifically, this will expand viewership and provide U.S. fans with a round-the-clock, world-class media experience. This partnership is the embodiment of the integrated network distribution model we first visualized with the acquisition of Roland Garros rights."

ESPN2 will maintain its Australian Open schedule -- more than 120 hours in recent years. Its extensive daily coverage includes live programming in primetime and at 3:30 a.m. ESPN2 will continue to televise the men's and women's semifinals and championships.

The Tennis Channel will televise up to 100 hours from Melbourne when ESPN2 is not on the air, during both mornings and afternoons in addition to key prime-time windows. ESPN will produce all Australian Open coverage and, as at the French Open, each network will provide its own commentators. As with the French Open, The Tennis Channel will create original Australian Open programming that supports its match coverage.

ESPN2's telecast of the Australian Open women's final last Friday night earned the network's highest tennis rating in history. Serena Williams' eighth Grand Slam victory drew a 1.9 rating, representing 1,715,000 homes. The previous best was the 2005 Australian Open women's final when Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport. That broadcast received a 1.5 rating (1,350,000 homes).

Far out!

For viewers in the US, this means that despite ESPN's best efforts not to show more than a handful of matches in any given day, repeating them all, we will actually get to see some other players and matches of interest--both live and taped. More like Eurosport.

TTC--please dump Shiras and Adams before May...

sfselesfan
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:10 PM
I just subscribed to the tennis channel. Should be on when I get home from work. $4.99/month and I get a bundle of other sports channels...EXCITED.

*runs off to check Tennis Channel website*

SF

Linnie
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Looking forward to see how Roland Garros pans out. I'm fortunate to get TTC. Just hope that more cable outlets are able to offer it.

sfselesfan
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:22 PM
I have Comcast and never would have known they carry it if my Tivo hadn't detected it and sent me a message about it.

SF

Kipling
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:24 PM
I just subscribed to the tennis channel. Should be on when I get home from work. $4.99/month and I get a bundle of other sports channels...EXCITED.

*runs off to check Tennis Channel website*

SF

It has its advantages. This week, for example, they are running the Watsons Water Champions Challenge singles matches at 9PM Eastern each night. Occasionally, they run some great "historic" and archival programming, if you like that sort of stuff. Typically, there are Davis Cup and Fed Cup "classic" matches that are re-run. The "bag checks" they do with the players are hilarious.

Then again, there is ALOT of repeat programming. I lost count of how many times the latest edition of Real Life of the WTA Tour has been on in the past week, and Tatiana Golovin has been "appearing on Center Court this month" for the past three months at least.

And much of the tennis is not live.

But it's quickly becomming the most viable method for watching tennis in the US.

sfselesfan
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:27 PM
I'm a little disappointed they're only showing the Pan Pacific final. Guess that's worth the five bucks alone though...I won't complain.

SF

venusdemilo
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Crud... guess that means I've got to shell out $$$ for Comcast's sports package in my town... the Tennis Channel only comes with that package. Crud crud crud... well, I guess that's the price you pay :p

exposbabe
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:32 PM
What are you complaining about? At least you can get it. Please.

sfselesfan
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:32 PM
Crud... guess that means I've got to shell out $$$ for Comcast's sports package in my town... the Tennis Channel only comes with that package. Crud crud crud... well, I guess that's the price you pay :p

$5.00 for me...and well worth it!

SF

darrinbaker00
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:33 PM
Crud... guess that means I've got to shell out $$$ for Comcast's sports package in my town... the Tennis Channel only comes with that package. Crud crud crud... well, I guess that's the price you pay :p
How much is it where you live? I only had to pay an extra $5 per month.

venusdemilo
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:34 PM
How much is it where you live? I only had to pay an extra $5 per month.

Where I live it's with the digital cable Sports Lovers' package, an extra $19.99 a month...

darrinbaker00
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:39 PM
Far out!

For viewers in the US, this means that despite ESPN's best efforts not to show more than a handful of matches in any given day, repeating them all, we will actually get to see some other players and matches of interest--both live and taped. More like Eurosport.

TTC--please dump Shiras and Adams before May...
Shiras and Adams will likely handle the light work (doubles, juniors, singles matches on outer courts) that will air on TTC. The big-name players will still be on ESPN 2.

darrinbaker00
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Where I live it's with the digital cable Sports Lovers' package, an extra $19.99 a month...
You, my friend, are getting H-O-S-E-D.

Kipling
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:50 PM
Shiras and Adams will likely handle the light work (doubles, juniors, singles matches on outer courts) that will air on TTC. The big-name players will still be on ESPN 2.

Dunno about that--the press release indicates that TTC will be filling in the now-empty prime time windows (i.e. Midnight/1Am-3:30 AM Eastern and possibly post 6AM Eastern) in addition to coverage throughout the US daytime hours. There's alot of tennis that ESPN missed between its 9/10PM and 3:30 A.M coverage slots.

However, I'd love to see some of those "outside court" matches too. Those frequently are the most compelling matches of the grand slams, as USA's coverage of the USO can attest.

darrinbaker00
Jan 30th, 2007, 07:56 PM
Dunno about that--the press release indicates that TTC will be filling in the now-empty prime time windows (i.e. Midnight/1Am-3:30 AM Eastern and possibly post 6AM Eastern) in addition to coverage throughout the US daytime hours. There's alot of tennis that ESPN missed between its 9/10PM and 3:30 A.M coverage slots.

However, I'd love to see some of those "outside court" matches too. Those frequently are the most compelling matches of the grand slams, as USA's coverage of the USO can attest.
Aren't they, though? Those are the matches to watch during the first week of a major. I also hope TTC will give us a steady dose of doubles, especially the Bryans.

sfselesfan
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:36 PM
Where I live it's with the digital cable Sports Lovers' package, an extra $19.99 a month...

I got a smaller sports package from Comcast. Call 1-800-COMCAST and say that you MAY be interested in acquiring the tennis channel. If they quote you $19.99/month tell them that's too expensive and ask if there are any smaller packages available. They want your business and may be willing to negotiate. I have Comcast and got a $4.99/month deal.

SF

Bitter Blue Bong
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:39 PM
Lucky for those of you who actually get TTC.

And this coverage deal between TTC and ESPN...is the French Open still exclusively on TTC this year and they'll share it after that? Or is it shared now?

RJWCapriati
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:41 PM
Great!

treufreund
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:42 PM
I like Shiras and Adams.

Rocketta
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:47 PM
whew, thank goodness TTC comes standard on my Timewarner digital. :banana:

This sounds like it is going to be a good partnership. :worship:

Kipling
Jan 30th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Lucky for those of you who actually get TTC.

And this coverage deal between TTC and ESPN...is the French Open still exclusively on TTC this year and they'll share it after that? Or is it shared now?


Press release states that ESPN's shared coverage starts this year.

Sounds like the partnership evolved after TTC acquired the US broadcasting rights, and in the interest of providing a better product and cross promoting, they mutually agreed to the new deal for both slams. ESPN maintains 55 hours of FO coverage, which probably isn't too far off what they've had in the past.

No mention of the FO finals though--still NBC?

One thing that's missing from the ESPN release that is in the one posted on the Tennis Channel website is that while ESPN has 55 hours from RG, TTC will have 100.

That's really a nice package, for both slams. Hopefully, TTC will be made available at reasonable cost for everyone who wants it.

selyoink
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:05 PM
This is great news for me since I don't have the Tennis Channel. At least I will still be able to see some of the French Open. It is far better than nothing.

Wannabeknowitall
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:13 PM
I'm happy about this.
ESPN II coverage of the Australian Open was awful.
They had to get a good amount of complaints.
They didn't show any live television primetime in the US until the women's semifinals.
The people who actually stayed up until 3:30 EST got to see some live television.
Obviously showing tennis isn't ESPNII's focus this year so I think it's great they're sharing with the Tennis Channel whose focus will be tennis.

eugreene2
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:16 PM
This is still only good if you have both. ESPN2 is only showing taped French Open coverage - which means Roddick, Blake, Williams', Federer & Nadal. HORRIBLE coverage

#1Davenport
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:17 PM
I'd love to get the Tennis Channel, but the only thing that carries it here is Dish Network, and my parents won't get it cause we wouldn't get our local channels... *cries* :(

MCM
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:21 PM
No mention of the FO finals though--still NBC?


I remember reading that NBC still had the finals back when the first release came out about TTC's aquisition of Roland Garros.

Kipling
Jan 30th, 2007, 09:34 PM
I remember reading that NBC still had the finals back when the first release came out about TTC's aquisition of Roland Garros.

Ah, cool. Thanks.

GracefulVenus
Jan 30th, 2007, 10:08 PM
OMG! I'm so excited!!!