LOS ANGELES, January 12, 2009 —
Bill Macatee, Martina Navratilova Lead On-Air Team, with Nightly, Prime-Time Match Telecasts Followed by Six-Hour Australian Open Today Morning Show
Tournament is First in Network’s Coverage During all Four Tennis Grand Slams in 2009
Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis, will begin its second annual coverage of the Australian Open Monday, January 19, at 7 p.m. ET. The network has slated more than 30 live or first-run hours during the two-week major, in addition to same-day repeats of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals. During Tennis Channel’s inaugural Australian Open in 2008 the network became the first in U.S. television to carry live or repeat telecasts of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals and mixed doubles championship.
The tournament is part of Tennis Channel’s Grand Slam multimedia alliance with ESPN2, which offers audiences a near round-the-clock tournament experience. ESPN2 is producing all Australian Open coverage for both networks, which will cross-promote each other and make use of their own commentators.
In addition to comprehensive tournament telecasts, Tennis Channel will return daily morning show Australian Open Today to U.S. viewers who are just getting a start on their daily activities as the action is coming to a close on the other side of the world in Melbourne. The network will air close to 75 original hours of the six-hour recap show, offering highlights, previously unseen matches, original features and more beginning each morning at 8 a.m. ET.
The tournament marks the opening event in the network’s first year of telecast action at all four of tennis’ Grand Slam events: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and – in its initial year on Tennis Channel this August – the US Open.
Australian Open On-Air Talent
Veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee will return to the Tennis Channel booth during this year’s Australian Open, along with Hall of Fame tennis-legend Martina Navratilova, primary analyst for all network Grand Slam coverage. Also returning is longtime Tennis Channel play-by-play commentator Leif Shiras, and analyst and features reporter Justin Gimelstob. New to the
Australian Open team this year is former top-ranked doubles player Corina Morariu, who will handle sideline and interview duties, and appear in feature material.
“2009 could very well be the best tennis year ever,” said Navratilova. “Can Roger regain the No. 1 ranking? Not if Nadal has his say. Can Murray beat them all? Maybe. Will Djokovic wake up? I hope so. And the women! We have about eight bona fide contenders for the No. 1 ranking. So I am really looking forward to working with Bill Macatee and Tennis Channel again as the Australian Open will start giving us some answers.”
Beyond on-air match coverage and daily recaps on Australian Open Today, Tennis Channel’s Web site will keep online viewers up to speed with everything that happens in Melbourne during the two-week competition. www.tennischannel.com will offer live scoring, Australian Open Today features, best-match highlights and the network’s exclusive Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game, as well as a chance to win a trip to the 2010 tournament via its “Slammin’ Down Under” sweepstakes. There also will be blogs and columns from network regulars James LaRosa and Steve Flink.
Tennis Channel’s Live and First-Run Australian Open Match Schedule
Date Time (ET) Event
Monday, Jan. 19 7 p.m.-9 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, Jan. 20 7 p.m.-10 p.m. First-Round Action
Wednesday, Jan. 21 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Second-Round Action
Thursday, Jan. 22 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Second-Round Action
Friday, Jan. 23 9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Third-Round Action
Saturday, Jan. 24 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Third-Round Action
Sunday, Jan. 25 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Fourth-Round Action
Monday, Jan. 26 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Women’s Quarterfinals
Tuesday, Jan. 27 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Men’s and Women’s Singles Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Jan. 28 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
Thursday, Jan. 29 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Women’s Doubles Final
Friday, Jan. 30 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Men’s Doubles Final
Sunday, Jan. 31 12 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Mixed Doubles Final
Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule
Australian Open Today airs Monday, Jan. 19-Friday, Jan. 30. The show generally runs from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. Exceptions are (all times ET):
Saturday, Jan. 24 – 2 p.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 25 – 8 a.m.-noon
Thursday, Jan. 29, and Friday, Jan 30 – 6 a.m.-2 p.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 a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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