LOS ANGELES, November 15, 2007 —
Prime-Time Replays of Each Match Set for Evenings at 8 p.m. ET, Followed by Online Replays Starting First Week of December
Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis, has exclusive U.S. telecast rights to the highly anticipated exhibition series between all-time Grand Slam champion, Pete Sampras, and current threat to his crown, Roger Federer, during Thanksgiving week this month.
In the tradition of Ali vs. Frazier and Riggs vs. King, the 14-time Grand Slam-champion Sampras, 36, will take on the 12-time Grand Slam-champion Federer, 26, in a three-match exhibition tour in Asia from Nov. 20-24. All three competitions will air live or same-day delay on Tennis Channel followed by prime-time replays each evening at 8 p.m. ET.
Live and Same-Day Delay Schedule
Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, 7 a.m. ET (same-day delay)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007, 7 a.m. ET (live)
Macau, China, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007, 1 a.m. ET (live)
“Tennis Channel is proud to offer tennis fans the opportunity to see this monumental event in sports, both live as it happens on the other side of the world, and again in prime time,” said Victoria Quoss, executive vice president of programming and network strategy, Tennis Channel. “It’s rare in any sport for fans to actually find out what would happen if a legend from the past were to take on the greatest player in the game today. This will literally be history in the making right before our eyes.”
In 2001 a young Federer won the only meeting between the two stars in the fourth round of Wimbledon, a fiercely contested battle that ended Sampras’ 31-match tournament win streak, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. It was the first time in Sampras’ Wimbledon career that the seven-time champion lost a fifth set, and many left thinking either player could have emerged victorious.
The 2008 tennis season will be highlighted by Federer’s chase of Sampras in the history books for his 14 Grand Sam championships. Sampras retired in 2002 after winning the US Open and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this year.
Following the broadcast of this historic competition, Tennis Channel will make each match available via free broadband replay on its Web site, www.TennisChannel.com. The first match (Tuesday, Nov. 20) will appear online Wednesday, Dec. 5. The second (Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, Nov. 22) match will make its Web debut Thursday, Dec. 6, and the third match (Saturday, Nov. 24) will be on the site Friday, Dec. 7. This is in conjunction with Sampras and Federer highlight pages on the Web site now, as well as an online poll to determine who tennis fans feel is the greatest tennis player of all time.
Also available via broadband, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 4, will be an additional match on the star-studded Asian exhibition tour, between two of the sport’s top 10 singles players: World No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 8 Richard Gasquet. The competition, which takes place next week during Sampras-Federer meetings, will not be carried on U.S. television, and will be exclusive www.TennisChannel.com where visitors can watch it for free.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.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 Wimbledon, 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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