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TENNIS CHANNEL’S 2010 FRENCH OPEN COVERAGE BEGINS WITH TOURNAMENT’S FIRST SERVE SUNDAY, MAY 23

LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2010

Lindsay Davenport, Bud Collins to Join John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova

as Part of Tournament On-Air Team

 

More than 240 Hours of Tournament Programming Set for Two-Week Competition, Including 77 Live-Match Hours and 42 First-Run Hours of French Open Tonight

 

Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will carry 77 hours of live French Open coverage during its fourth year in Paris, not including same-day repeats of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals.  As a general rule, seven hours of live match play will air each day, from 5 a.m. to noon ET, with coverage continuing through the men’s and women’s quarterfinals deep into the second week of play (see complete schedule below).

 

The network’s groundbreaking prime-time show, French Open Tonight, will return each evening with anchor Bill Macatee and Tennis Channel’s signature set overlooking the tournament’s famed Musketeer Plaza.  The nightly three-and-a-half-hour show will again offer interviews, highlights, analysis, encore match replays and coverage from in and around the City of Light.  Macatee will host a variety of tennis personalities, including players, coaches, agents, tennis-industry representatives, past champions, Hall of Famers and other notables in the sport.

 

French Open Tonight will run from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, each evening, and immediately re-air twice in its entirety, throughout the night and early morning, concluding with the start of the following day’s live match play at 5 a.m. ET.  In all, Tennis Channel will show more than 140 hours of the nightly show, with 42 hours of first-run airings.

 

All of Tennis Channel’s coverage from the world’s most prestigious clay-court competition will be produced in high definition.  The network is working with ESPN2 again to bring viewers an almost round-the-clock tournament experience for the fourth consecutive year, with each channel cross-promoting the other’s schedule.  As Tennis Channel’s daily match coverage concludes at noon ET, ESPN2 picks up the action without missing a beat, covering the tournament through 6:30 p.m. ET, when Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight begins.  Tennis Channel will produce all coverage for both channels, with each making use of its own on-air team.

 

On-Air Talent
John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova have become fixtures of Tennis Channel’s French Open coverage and will be back in the network’s booth this year as lead on-air analysts.  In their fourth year of providing Hall of Fame insight, the pair will be joined by new correspondent Lindsay Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam singles winner who reached the French Open semifinals in 1998.  Ted Robinson, Ian Eagle and former player Leif Shiras will resume play-by-play duties for the network in 2010, working with Tennis Channel’s long-running team of analysts and former players Katrina Adams, Justin Gimelstob, Barry MacKay and Corina Morariu.

 

“I’m thrilled that it’s springtime in Paris and the French Open is here again,” said Navratilova.  “Everyone wants to see if Rafael Nadal can return to dominance after his disappointing exit last year.  The women’s side is just as interesting, with so many potential winners.  I can’t wait to get back in the Tennis Channel booth and watch it all unfold.”

 

Davenport, in addition to her appearances during match coverage, will frequently assist on French Open Tonight with Macatee, along with a roster of new contributors.  Legendary tennis writer, analyst, reporter and all-around expert Bud Collins joins the prime-time team this year, as does long-time tennis journalist Jon Wertheim.  Rounding out French Open Tonight will be Cari Champion, anchor of Tennis Channel’s Court Report nightly newscast, and Danielle Dotzenrod, host of health and nutrition series Fit To Hit.  Combined, this group will offer analysis and commentary, and cover the sights and sounds of the tournament grounds, its fans and various on-site activities – with field reports from the surrounding city sprinkled into the mix.

 

Broadband Coverage

Tennis Channel’s extensive French Open coverage has never been limited to television.  The network will again offer free live and on-demand broadband streams, with close to 125 matches and 200 hours during the first 10 days of the tournament.  Visitors to the network’s site, www.tennischannel.com, will be able to view any one of five courts for the first eight days of the event, followed by a single court on days nine and ten.  The site will also offer interview archives from French Open Tonight, news, live scores, daily highlights, exclusive tournament photos, blogs, columns, sweepstakes information and the network’s “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game.

 
Tennis Channel’s Live 2010 French Open Match Schedule – Entirely in High Definition

(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                   Event                                     

Sunday, May 23                       5 a.m.-Noon                First-Round Action

Monday, May 24                       5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 25                     5 a.m.-Noon                First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 26               5 a.m.-Noon                Second-Round Action

Thursday, May 27                    5 a.m.-Noon                Second-Round Action

Friday, May 28                          5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action

Saturday, May 29                     5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action

Sunday, May 30                       5 a.m.-Noon                Round of 16 Action

Monday, May 31                       5 a.m.-Noon                Round of 16 Action

Tuesday, June 1                      8 a.m.-Noon                Quarterfinals

Wednesday, June 2                 8 a.m.-Noon               Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 3                     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 3 – 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (ET): women’s singles semifinals

Friday, June 4 – 5 p.m.-midnight (ET): men’s semifinals

 

Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule

 

French Open Tonight airs Sunday, May 23-Thursday, June 3, and typically runs from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. ET, and is then repeated twice from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.-5 a.m.  The following exceptions are ET:

 

Monday, May 24; Saturday, May 29; and Sunday, May 30 – 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m., followed by 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.-5 a.m.

 

Additionally, shortened encore editions of French Open Tonight will air Tuesday, June 1, and Wednesday, June 2, from 5 a.m.-8 a.m.

 

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle.  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 nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.


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For Further information:
Eric Abner , Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445 or eabner@tennischannel.com