LOS ANGELES, September 21, 2006 —
The Tennis Channel and OLN, which will change its name to VERSUS on Sept. 25, will resume live and same-day coverage of U.S. Davis Cup action this weekend during the team’s competition with Russia in Moscow’s Olympic Stadium. The networks are 2006 U.S. Davis Cup domestic television partners.
The semifinal event between Russia and the United States will consist of two singles matches on Friday, Sept. 22, one doubles match Saturday, Sept. 23, and two singles matches Sunday, Sept. 24. Each of the five matches is worth one point, with the team that wins at least three points advancing to the Davis Cup championship in December. OLN will carry all matches live this weekend, beginning at 2 p.m. ET each day, followed by same-day, prime-time replays on The Tennis Channel at 8 p.m. ET.
Coverage from Moscow’s Olympic Stadium is as follows (subject to change):
Friday, Sept. 22:
2 p.m. ET OLN Live Coverage – Singles, First Day
8 p.m. ET The Tennis Channel Prime-Time Replay – Singles, First Day
Saturday, Sept. 23:
2 p.m. ET OLN Live Coverage – Doubles, Second Day
8 p.m. ET The Tennis Channel Prime-Time Replay – Doubles, Second Day
Sunday, Sept. 24:
2 p.m. ET OLN Live Coverage – Singles, Third Day
8 p.m. ET The Tennis Channel Prime-Time Replay – Singles, Third Day
Should the U.S. team defeat Russia to advance to the Davis Cup final both OLN (VERSUS) and The Tennis Channel will cover the championship round Dec. 1-3. In that case, the American squad would visit the winner of the other Davis Cup semifinal competition between Argentina and Australia, live on The Tennis Channel this weekend: Friday, Sept. 22, at 9:50 a.m. ET; Saturday, Sept. 23, at 10:30 a.m. ET; and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 9:50 a.m. ET.
Despite holding the overall Davis Cup record with 31 championships, the U.S. team has not won the title since 1995 when it was led by the likes of Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. This year’s team is captained by Patrick McEnroe and features four of America’s best tennis players. Andy Roddick is the World No. 6 singles player and comes into this weekend’s match after an impressive run to the US Open final two weeks ago. James Blake, World No. 9, is a having a career year that has seen him reach the top 10 rankings for the first time. On the doubles front, twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan continue to be the world’s most dominant pair, currently ranked No. 1 and winners of this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon championships.
After defeating Romania 4-1 in February’s first round, the U.S. team beat Chile 3-2 in April, to advance to this weekend’s semifinal match-up.
The Russian Davis Cup team heads into the semifinals with plenty of firepower of its own. World No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko and World No. 24 Mikhail Youzhny are both coming off dramatic advances to the US Open semifinals this year. Dmitry Tursunov is ranked No. 22, and Marat Safin, though ranked No. 72, is a former Grand Slam champion who is always considered an on-court threat. The squad is captained by Shamil Tarpischev.
U.S. Davis Cup sponsor AIG continues its role as the presenting sponsor of all U.S. Davis Cup telecasts on OLN and The Tennis Channel.
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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 Roland Garros (the French Open), the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson 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.
OLN (OLNTV.com) is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events like The Tour de France, the America's Cup, the Dakar Rally, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), Professional Boxing, the Boston Marathon, AMA Motocross and Davis Cup. Now in more than 70 million homes, the network features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can't find elsewhere. The network offers unique, competition-themed original programming and is the exclusive home of Survivor in syndication. OLN, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States. The network will be changing its name to VERSUS as of September 25.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world and launched the US Open Series which links 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 665,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.
For further information:
Eric Abner, The Tennis Channel, 310-309-0061 or email@example.com
Amy Phillips, OLN, 203-406-2509 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Widmaier, USTA, 914-696-7284, Widmaier@usta.com