LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2004 —
The Tennis Channel, the 24-hour cable television network devoted exclusively to tennis and other racquet sports, celebrated its first anniversary Saturday, May 15, and via a combination of organic growth and pending cable and satellite distribution deals, the network expects to reach 10 million households by late fourth quarter. The announcement was made today by Steve Bellamy, president and founder, and David Meister, CEO.
"Our goal was to give the ultimate gift to tennis fans across the country, to expose how spectacularly the game is being played by showing tons of live tennis and to tell the stories of the extraordinarily talented athletes," said Bellamy. "We have over 80 percent of the top events in tennis, the Grand Slams of the other racquet sports and a phenomenal palette of shoulder programming. I speak to tennis fans daily and it has become a channel that people turn on in the morning and leave on all day long."
"The Tennis Channel has enjoyed widespread success," said Meister. "Twenty-nine different distributors have already launched the network in cable systems that serve more than 30 percent of America's cable subscribers. We are thrilled by the broad support we're getting from the cable industry."
This month, The Tennis Channel gains six additional DMAs, with launches by Cox Communications in Conroe and Jacksonville, Texas; Insight Communications in Evansville, Ind. and Columbus, Ohio; Adelphia Communications in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Hilton Head Island, S.C., Harrisburg, Ky., and Richmond; and Monett Cable in Aurora, Mo.
In addition to Cox, Adelphia, Insight and the NCTC, the network also has deals in place with Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, RCN, Qwest Communications, Knology and the VOOM satellite service, among others.
The Tennis Channel, which launched on May 15, 2003, offers an unprecedented slate of tennis and racquet-sports programming. Highlights from its initial year's offerings include:
. 2,500+ hours of world class tournaments
- Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
- ATP Masters Series from Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Indian Wells and Key Biscayne
- US Open Series
- WTA Tour top-tier tournaments around the world
- Fed Cup
- Hyundai Hopman Cup
. Hundreds of hours of first-run programming
- No Strings (Pete Sampras, James Blake, Maria Sharapova)
- Center Court with Chris Myers (Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier)
- Open Access (U.S. Open, Australia, Indian Wells, Key Biscayne)
- Tennis Insiders (Bud Collins, Rod Laver)
- Net Films (Andy Roddick, Pancho Gonzales, Althea Gibson)
. Instructional and on-court enhancement programs
- On Court with USPTA
- Nick Bollettieri
- Dennis Van der Meer
- Vic Braden
Such programming has fueled The Tennis Channel's rapid nationwide growth. The network currently has subscribers in 49 states, 175 markets, and more than 2,600 different communities, served by 29 different distributors across the country. The Tennis Channel is available in 11 of the country's top 15 markets on cable, and, other than Alaska, every city in America on the VOOM satellite service. Additionally, a substantial amount of new distribution is planned for the very near future.
The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is the 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, and provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and its superstar athletes. The network's comprehensive coverage includes telecasts of the ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup. The Tennis Channel also showcases instruction from the finest teachers, legendary matches, in-depth profiles of the greatest players, analysis and news, the latest on equipment, and tennis getaways.