PARIS, June 4, 2007 —
Television, Web Combination brings Two Days of Action,
50 Hours of First-Run Play to Tennis Fans
Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the surrounding lifestyle, covered more tennis matches in a single day than ever before in network history this past Friday, June 1. During the sixth day of the world’s premier clay-court tennis tournament, Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open), the network provided more than 50 hours of live and first-run tennis across multiple online, cable and satellite platforms. The total number of hours far exceeds any single day of match coverage in the network’s four-year history.
Moreover, the coverage – totaling 22 matches spread across five courts during Friday’s schedule of play – exemplifies the immersive experience the network promised to bring to viewers with its first full-tournament coverage of a Grand Slam event, tennis’ highest and most prestigious level of competition. Through mosaic channels and free broadband Webcasts on its Web site and Yahoo!, the network has presented viewers with the same multi-court, simultaneous match choice that welcomes ticket holders at the Paris competition.
Beginning with the day’s first serves at 11 a.m. Paris Time (5 a.m. ET / 2 a.m. PT), Tennis Channel made 22 matches available to television viewers with the help of DISH Network and DIRECTV. Both satellite partners offered mosaic channels with five simultaneous courts of coverage in addition to the network’s main channel feed. Television viewers were treated to 50 hours of coverage during the day.
This was complemented by three simultaneous steams of free, live match coverage on the network’s Web site, www.TennisChannel.com, which carried 14 matches for a combined 29 hours of online coverage. Tennis Channel also made four matches available to visitors of Web portal Yahoo!’s main tennis page, bringing an additional nine hours of free tennis to U.S. French Open fans.
Altogether, the network’s linear coverage, satellite mosaics, Web broadband and Yahoo! partnership stream totaled 88 hours of match availability for television and tennis viewers. Subtracting for the overlap of matches shown on both television and the Internet, Tennis Channel brought viewers 50 hours of live and first-run Grand Slam tennis.
This total does not take into account additional first-run coverage on French Open Tonight, Tennis Channel’s nightly prime-time show hosted by veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee. Shot at different venues throughout Paris, the evening program anchors the network’s extensive coverage during both weeks of the tournament, recapping the biggest matches of the day as well as interacting with players, analysts and other guests. The three-and-a-half-hour show offers the best of the day’s tennis, previously unseen matches, original features and coverage from in and around the streets of Paris.
This year’s French Open marks Tennis Channel’s first Grand Slam tournament rights, and the network is immersing television audiences in the event and its surrounding atmosphere. More than just hours of on-court matches, viewers have been able to 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.
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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