SANTA MONICA, May 7, 2007 —
Cable and Satellite Partners to Make Live Coverage of Grand Slam Event,
World’s Most Prestigious Clay-Court Tournament Widely Available May 27-June 10
LAS VEGAS – NCTA, May 7, 2007 – Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the lifestyle that surrounds it, will be available in 50 million homes during Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) May 27-June 10, through a series of special free previews on its cable and satellite providers. The preview offering will bring the network’s 100+ hours of live tournament coverage and several hundred more hours of accompanying programming to five times the network’s current 10 million-household distribution reach.
Other than DIRECTV, which recently announced that it will launch Tennis Channel on a full-time basis later this summer, all preview providers currently carry the network at various levels of service. During the French Open preview each will offer Tennis Channel to a wider audience of analog or digital basic subscribers. Additionally, preview partners include Echostar’s DISH Network nationwide and, on a market-by-market basis, Comcast, Cox, Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse, Mediacom, Insight, Verizon, Armstrong, Bend and GCI affiliates.
“The French Open is truly one of the most exciting spectacles in all of sports, and we’re thrilled that 50 million people will have the chance to see Tennis Channel’s comprehensive breadth of coverage,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “The story heading into this year’s tournament is whether Roger Federer, the world’s greatest tennis player, – and perhaps the greatest of all time – can finally capture the French Open championship that’s eluded him, likely at the expense of rock-star Spaniard Rafael Nadal and his record clay-court win streak. At the same time, Serena Williams’ return to dominance is the biggest story in all of women’s sports this year, let alone tennis, and we’ll be there every step of the way as she chases another Grand Slam championship at the French Open.
“But in addition to live match coverage, our viewers are going to feel the French Open experience in all its pageantry and glory, with daily features and prime-time telecasts from Paris,” he added.
Tennis Channel will provide live French Open coverage for the first time this year, with insightful commentary from legendary on-air analysts John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova. The network’s approach to its French Open coverage is designed to immerse television audiences in the tournament and its surrounding atmosphere. More than just hours of on-court matches, viewers will feel what it is like to be at this majestic event, and to take in the experience that encompasses its history and host city. To accompany the live matches, the network has an extensive programming schedule devoted to the Grand Slam competition, which includes French Open Tonight, hosted by a yet-to-be announced, widely known television sports personality. French Open Tonight is a nightly prime-time program that will offer the best of the day’s tennis events, previously unseen matches and original features and coverage from in and around the streets of Paris.
“We’re excited that so many of our distribution partners are taking the opportunity to utilize Tennis Channel’s investment in marquee, Grand Slam rights to drive their customers to upgraded programming packages,” said Randy Brown, senior vice president, distribution, Tennis Channel. “The network works closely with our distributors to build customized solutions that complement their new media applications, and we’ve dedicated a significant amount of our promotional activity toward assisting them in that endeavor.”
Participating Tennis Channel French Open preview affiliates represent significant media markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington DC and Atlanta, among others. Satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH Network will make the preview available to subscribers throughout the United States.
Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to Roland-Garros (the French Open), the Australian Open, US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and Echostar’s DISH Network.
# # #
For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, email@example.com
AT NCTA: 310-309-0061