LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2006 —
The Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, announces the premiere of Bragging Rights, a unique, tennis-lifestyle reality show in which fierce on-court rivals receive one-on-one instruction from a pair of legends before competing in a nationally televised final match. Tennis Hall of Famers John Newcombe and Guillermo Vilas act as coaches in the series’ first three episodes. Bragging Rights is scheduled to debut on The Tennis Channel Monday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The show premise centers on two people whose friendship is defined by their tennis rivalry and passion for the game. The first three episodes were shot at The John Newcombe Tennis Ranch near Austin, Tex. Every episode begins with the back story on that edition’s rivals, before each player is introduced to a tennis legend who will act as coach leading up to and during the final, televised match. This is followed by a “game analysis” segment in which the two coaches analyze their respective pupils, and break down the opponent. After an on-court practice session between student and coach, the show culminates with a final match for “Bragging Rights.”
The first episode features two friends in the Austin area: Team Newcombe’s Kory Brown, age 35, and Team Vilas’ Nathan Lenss, age 29. The two men are successful tournament doubles partners and singles rivals but they have never faced one another in a tournament situation during their three-year friendship. Brown, a technologist and entrepreneur, is a married father of two young boys, who at ages six and seven, are already playing tennis. Lenss, is an associate producer for an insurance agency who met his girlfriend during a tennis tournament.
“Millions of Americans have regular, weekly tennis matches, played for so many years, they often outlast marriages – these games matter in peoples lives,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO of The Tennis Channel. “By pairing players with tennis legends like ‘Newk’ and Vilas they’ll not only get a championship strategy custom-tailored to their own personal games, but more importantly they’ll learn about themselves in ways never imagined. These best friends then battle for the ultimate ‘Bragging Rights’ on TV and in front of the whole world, perfectly exemplifying our fast evolving Tennis Channel brand.”
The Tennis Channel turned to Holden Production Group for Bragging Rights. The television production company specializes in non-fiction programming, and has spent the past 25 years providing programming for CBS, NBC, ESPN, USA, and Fine Living. Recent projects include Tiger at Thirty (CBS), Jack at Augusta (CBS), Food Camp (The Food Network) and The Wandering Golfer (Fine Living).
The Tennis Channel is available nationally via Echostar’s DISH Network, and through most cable operators. Readers should check with their local cable provider for network listings.
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, and forges the personal connection between the professionals on the court and the game’s millions of aficionados. The home for people who watch, play and live their passions through tennis, the network is a hybrid of comprehensive sports coverage, health and fitness programming, pop culture and entertainment access, and lifestyle and travel information. The Tennis Channel is the most concentrated single-sport network in television, with telecast rights to the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, the combination of which offer the compelling, ongoing story of the game’s most dramatic rivalries, energetic personalities and emotional, yearlong journey.
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