LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2008 —
Grand Slam Telecast Includes Nightly Prime-Time Show French Open Tonight, Same-Day Semifinal Replays
Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the surrounding lifestyle, will begin its coverage of Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) at 5 a.m. ET Sunday, May 25, the opening day of the event. The network will present close to 100 hours of live match coverage from the two-week Grand Slam, including same-day repeats for all men’s and women’s singles semifinals.
Additionally, from May 25-June 7 Tennis Channel will feature nightly prime-time show French Open Tonight, anchored by veteran tennis broadcaster Bill Macatee. The three-and-half-hour show will present the day’s best tennis, previously unseen matches, original features and coverage from in and around the city.
2008 is Tennis Channel’s second year of covering the French Open, and the second year that the network is producing its tournament matches and supporting programming in high definition. Fans who watch Tennis Channel on DIRECTV will be able to see everything in HD clarity.
Tennis Channel’s comprehensive tournament schedule runs from Sunday, May 25-Friday, June 6, and generally begins at 5 a.m. ET (see full schedule below). The network’s daily match telecasts typically conclude at Noon ET, at which point ESPN2’s afternoon coverage begins. Both networks will cross-promote each other’s daily telecasts and work in unison to bring the tournament to fans virtually around-the-clock again this year. Tennis Channel is producing all French Open coverage for both networks, with each channel utilizing its own commentators.
Tennis Channel’s French Open on-air team once again includes tennis legends John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, who joined the network last year as lead on-air analysts during its coverage of the world’s premier clay-court tournament. Lead on-air commentators Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle return along with Tennis Channel veterans Leif Shiras, Barry MacKay and Katrina Adams. Former and current players Justin Gimelstob, Rennae Stubbs and Corina Morariu will also assist as on-air analysts.
Many – if not all – of these personalities will join Macatee on French Open Tonight throughout the tournament. Macatee also will be joined by former MSNBC news personality Dana Kennedy in 2008, who will be a lifestyle correspondent for the show.
Beyond its network television coverage of the French Open, Tennis Channel plans to carry up to four live matches per day on its Web site, TennisChannel.com. These will be complemented with additional on-demand video clips, including daily highlights, archived matches, live scores and original content. Tennis Channel is also working with Yahoo! Sports again to make highlights available to visitors of the number one online sports destination’s main tennis page.
Tennis Channel’s Live French Open Match Schedule
Date Time (ET) Event
Sunday, May 25 5 a.m.-Noon First-Round Action
Monday, May 26 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 27 5 a.m.-Noon First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 28 5 a.m.-Noon Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 29 5 a.m.-Noon Second-Round Action
Friday, May 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Third-Round Action
Saturday, May 31 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Third-Round Action
Sunday, June 1 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Third-Round Action
Monday, June 2 6 a.m.-Noon Round of 16
Tuesday, June 3 6 a.m.-Noon Women’s Quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 4 6 a.m.-Noon Men’s Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 5 5 a.m.-8 a.m. Men’s Doubles Semifinals
Tennis Channel will also offer same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals:
Thursday, June 5 – 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (ET): women’s singles semifinals
Friday, June 6 – 4 p.m.-11p.m. (ET): men’s singles semifinals
Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule
French Open Tonight airs Sunday, May 25-Thursday, June 5. The show generally runs from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. ET, and is then repeated twice from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m.-5 a.m. Exceptions are (all times ET):
Sunday, May 25 – 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m., followed by 8:30 p.m.-midnight, 12 a.m.-3:30 a.m.
Monday, May 26 – 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m., followed by 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m.-5 a.m.
Saturday, May 31-Sunday, June 1 – 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., followed by 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m., 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m.-5 a.m.
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 the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus 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 national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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