Tournament’s Opening Day Marks First Evening of Network’s Four-Hour
Nightly Interview, Analysis, Feature and Highlight Show, Hosted by Bill Macatee
Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will begin its coverage of one of the world’s most time-honored traditions with Wimbledon Primetime, starting, Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m. ET. The four-hour, high-definition evening show will offer news, interviews, the day’s best plays, original features, previously unseen matches and coverage from around the hallowed grounds of the All-England Lawn Tennis Association. In all, Tennis Channel will show 40 original hours of Wimbledon Primetime during the tournament, followed by an additional 40 hours of encore presentations.
As in 2008, veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee will host Wimbledon Primetime from the grounds of the most prestigious tournament in tennis. In addition to analysis and highlights, the show will feature a stream of interviews from players, coaches and other tennis-industry leaders. Macatee will again be joined by primary Grand Slam commentator Martina Navratilova, no stranger to Wimbledon success herself, and former majors mixed-doubles champion Justin Gimelstob, who will appear in studio and as a field reporter.
New to Wimbledon Primetime this year is the hourly Court Report news update, first introduced during the French Open in May and hosted by sports reporter Jill Arrington. Wimbledon Primetime also includes features from Wimbledon Village and around London for a taste of the tournament beyond the on-court action, and condensed matches that were originally covered by the BBC. The latter brings Tennis Channel viewers a glimpse of the competition through the eyes of commentators Chris Evert, Boris Becker and Tim Henman, among others not usually on the network.
Beginning each evening at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, Wimbledon Primetime airs Monday, June 22, through Wednesday, July 1, lasting until 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT. The program is immediately followed by an encore presentation from 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT to 3 a.m. ET / 12 a.m. PT, every night but Monday, June 29, through Wednesday, July 1, in which the second showing takes place one hour later, from 12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT to 4 a.m. ET / 1 a.m. PT.
Leading up to Wimbledon Primetime each evening, ESPN2 will provide live day-long action each weekday at 7 a.m. ET, plus select highlights programs (including two on ESPN), for a total of 99 hours of coverage.
In addition to returning Wimbledon to prime-time television audiences during the two-week tournament, Tennis Channel is celebrating the prestigious competition with tournament-outlook show London Calling: 2009 Wimbledon Preview and “Wimbledon Classics Week” June 15-19, the week before play begins. Beyond this, the network will air Wimbledon-related episodes from its various original series, which focus on players who have made their names at the hallowed event, among them Navratilova, Evert, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, adds to the network’s Grand Slam offerings with live scoring, highlights, Wimbledon Primetime interview and feature clips, photo galleries, the network’s “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game, on-site reports from regular Web bloggers James LaRosa and Steve Flink, and other Wimbledon content.
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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