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ESPN2 to Broadcast WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche
September 18, 2003


Title Match To Be Televised Opposite ABC’s Monday Night Football For Second Straight Year

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The WTA Tour and ESPN have reached a multi-year agreement for the cable network to broadcast the WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche.

The prestigious season-ending event, scheduled for November 5-10 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, will be televised daily on ESPN2. After a successful Monday night telecast of the singles final in 2002, this year’s singles final will again be shown live in prime time on November 10, opposite ABC’s Monday Night Football.

“I am extremely pleased that ESPN2 will once again be providing coverage of our Championships,” said WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott. “The ESPN networks are a great partner of women’s tennis, and the network’s prestige as the worldwide leader in sports programming fits well with the prominence and rich tradition of our Championships.”

As part of the new extended deal, ESPN2 will provide at least 16 hours of coverage from all six days of the WTA Tour Championships, including at least 10 hours of live coverage. The network’s featured team of Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shriver will work the broadcast booth.

ESPN2’s telecast of the WTA Tour Championships will mark a spectacular finish to a blockbuster season of women’s tennis coverage. In 2003, ESPN2, which reaches more than 85 million homes, covered 10 prominent tournaments on the WTA Tour calendar, including three Grand Slam events, the Pacific Life Open and the NASDAQ-100 Open.

"Women's tennis is a growing and essential part of ESPN's tennis initiative,’’ said Len DeLuca, ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Programming Strategy. “The WTA Tour Championships will perfectly complete a year of unprecedented tennis coverage on ESPN with three Grand Slams, extensive WTA Tour and ATP schedules, the Davis Cup, and now the season-ending WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche and the Masters Cup in Houston. We're proud to be America's leading tennis telecaster."

This year’s WTA Tour Championships will feature a new format involving an eight-player round-robin singles draw and a four-team single elimination doubles draw. The world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams will battle for a $3 million purse, with the singles winner receiving a record-tying $1 million in prize money.

Three players have already qualified for the elite singles field – Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Serena Williams. Henin-Hardenne, the reigning US Open and French Open singles champion, leads the current Porsche Race to the Championships standings, followed closely by the top-ranked Clijsters and the third-ranked Williams, who is a six-time Grand Slam champion. Several players are in a tight race for the remaining five spots. For current standings, please visit www.wtatour.com.

The ESPN networks televise more tennis annually than any other U.S. network, totaling more than 500 hours in 2003. The networks’ schedules reflect an increasing commitment to women’s tennis, highlighted by their dedication to the WTA Tour Championships, which have aired on ESPN networks the past two years.
 

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I don't like it. Does everyone have ESPN2? No. Why can't ESPN cover it as well as ESPN? I guess women's tennis doresn't mean as much to ESPN as billiards and poker do. :mad: And the final will get wiped out airing opposite Monday Night Football. :(

I really enjoyed the WTA year end championships when it aired on the MSG Network and Bud Collins and Virginia Wade were the broadcasters. Those were the days.
 

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the cat said:
I don't like it. Does everyone have ESPN2? No. Why can't ESPN cover it as well as ESPN? I guess women's tennis doresn't mean as much to ESPN as billiards and poker do. :mad: And the final will get wiped out airing opposite Monday Night Football. :(

I really enjoyed the WTA year end championships when it aired on the MSG Network and Bud Collins and Virginia Wade were the broadcasters. Those were the days.
Not everyone has MSG either
 

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WTSN will be discontinuing operations blah blah blah effective Sept. 30,2003.My cable company mailed me that a few days ago.
 

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omg..we're all screwed :sad:

Sportsnet killed the WTA contract, WTSN is going to be taken off and TSN only has a contract for the men's events.

That means zero women's tennis coverage in Canada :(
 

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ESPN with PAM! :D
 

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ZAK said:
Not everyone has MSG either
Exactly...I think more ppl. have ESPN2 than MSG...
 

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Hawk said:
omg..we're all screwed :sad:

Sportsnet killed the WTA contract, WTSN is going to be taken off and TSN only has a contract for the men's events.

That means zero women's tennis coverage in Canada :(
that totally sucks...isnt there any way to pay for foreign sports channels?
 

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I loved Bud Collins and Virginia Wade commentating also! They were very good together and quite humorous. And MSG DID have great coverage, I miss it :(
 

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Is it true that WTSN is going out of business?
I wish there was a channel like that in the U.S.
 

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I think Tracy Austin and MAry Carillo should be the only two allowed in the booth! (unless martina stops by for a chat! She'll be there!)
 

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Good point Hackie! :)
 
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