SANTA MONICA, May 8, 2007 —
Veteran Sportscaster Signs Overall Deal to Produce, Appear in Original Programming
and Serve as Network Anchor for Major Events, Beginning with Nightly Prime-Time
Show from Paris
LAS VEGAS – NCTA, May 8, 2007 – Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the lifestyle that surrounds it, has signed sports broadcasting veteran Bill Macatee to a multiyear deal to provide a variety of network functions. His responsibilities begin during Tennis Channel’s nightly, prime-time centerpiece show, French Open Tonight, on which the celebrated broadcaster will serve as producer and solo anchor.
As host of French Open Tonight, Macatee will lead Tennis Channel’s extensive coverage from Paris, recapping the biggest matches of the day as well as interacting with players, analysts and other guests. The nightly, three-and-a-half-hour prime-time program will offer the best of the day’s tennis, previously unseen matches, original features and coverage from in and around the streets of Paris. For Macatee, the deal marks a return to the French Open, where he spent seven years doing play-by-play and anchoring from Roland Garros.
“Bill is one of the best in the business, and among the most recognized and accomplished names in both sports and tennis broadcasting,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “He is the consummate broadcasting professional, knows the game forward and backward, and embodies the highest standards of televised sports that we feel tennis deserves. We couldn’t think of a better person to have anchor what is going to be our signature French Open broadcast. Moreover, he has been a passionate advocate of tennis for years and is joining us in essence as a partner who will help Tennis Channel in our mission to grow this sport.”
This year’s French Open marks Tennis Channel’s first Grand Slam tournament rights, and the network plans to immerse television audiences in the event 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, and has brought in tennis Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova to serve as on-air analysts.
Following the French Open, Macatee will continue to work with Tennis Channel throughout the year to develop original series and specials, in both the live sports and passionate lifestyle categories. He will serve in various production and talent capacities for these projects.
Macatee has been among the marquee names in sports broadcasting for more than two decades. Throughout his career, he has played a high-profile role in network sports television, anchoring major events like the Olympics, The Masters, The Ryder Cup and tennis’ US Open. Macatee has also covered a wide variety of other events, including NFL play-by-play, the World Series, Super Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Wimbledon, the French Open and the PGA Championship. He has also lent his on-air talents to additional live sports telecasts, including boxing, figure skating, skiing, gymnastics and track and field.
In the 1980s, Macatee became the youngest network sportscaster in the industry when he joined NBC Sports at the age of 26. During that time, he also served as the sports correspondent for the Today Show and the sports anchor for NBC News at Sunrise.
Macatee joined USA Network in 1990 to cover early rounds of the PGA Tour, as well as major tennis events like the US Open and French Open. He signed on with CBS Sports in 1995 and continues to play a major role in the network’s coverage of the NFL, the PGA Tour, tennis’ US Open and other network sports events.
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.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, firstname.lastname@example.org
AT NCTA: 310-309-0061