LOS ANGELES, April 9, 2004 —
The Tennis Channel, a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, is launching Tennis Insiders, its latest original series. The half-hour panel series features tennis players, coaches, executives, agents and other industry representatives discussing the sport in front of an audience, with the first episodes moderated by renowned tennis journalist and broadcaster Bud Collins. The announcement was made today by Bruce Rider, executive vice president of programming and marketing, The Tennis Channel.
Subscribers of The Tennis Channel can catch Tennis Insiders Tuesday, April 13, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT; Thursday, April 15, at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT; and throughout the month of April.
The first episode features a panel that includes ATP Chief Executive Mark Miles, Inside Tennis reporter Matthew Cronin, tennis legend Rod Laver and Pacific Life Open Tournament Chairman Charlie Pasarell. Collins gets his guests' points of view on everything from the length of the season to the return to a golden age of tennis.
Tennis Insiders is the latest original series from The Tennis Channel, joining the recently released Open Access, and signature series No Strings and Center Court with Chris Myers.
"Tennis Insiders lets tennis fans see what people in the industry think about the game today," said Rider. "The on-site audience participation we've had during our first tapings has been tremendous, and the questions are what our television audience would want to ask these industry figures. And Bud Collins brings his unique flair and experience to the program as well."
Mark Miles has been the CEO of the ATP since August 1990, and was instrumental in the creation of the "One Game" initiative with the WTA Tour. He also led the return of the ATP Masters Cup to the United States for the first time since 1989, and led the ATP's role in the development of a professional tennis calendar working group with the Grand Slams and the International Tennis Federation.
Rod Laver is considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. He is the only player to have twice won all four Grand Slam singles championships in the same year, in 1962 and 1969.
A lefthander who popularized the forehand topspin drive, Laver gathered 11 Grand Slam championships during his career, good for third all time. However, once he turned professional in 1963, he was unable to compete in the major tournaments again until the advent of the Open Era in 1968, when the events become open to pro players in addition to amateurs. That year Laver won Wimbledon, and then went on to win all four Grand Slams in 1969.
Charlie Pasarell has remained active in tennis since his days as the world's top-ranked singles player and a repeated member of the U.S. Davis Cup team. He currently acts as tournament chairman of Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif. During his days on the court, Pasarell was a doubles finalist at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the French Open, and won the 1967 NCAA singles championship while playing college tennis for UCLA.
Matthew Cronin has been covering pro tennis for the past eleven years. He is the managing editor of the California-based Inside Tennis magazine, in addition to the widely read tennis Web site Tennisreporters.net. Cronin has been the main English-language writer for official Grand Slam Web sites, including Rolandgarros.org and USOpen.org . He is also a regular contributor to Reuters and did play-by-play on the first Web radio broadcasts of the U.S. Open finals.
Bud Collins is a world-renowned tennis writer, broadcaster, editor and historian. Now synonymous with the game itself, Collins has made his name covering tennis in print and electronic media for 50 years, acting as a writer for magazines and newspapers around the world, and appearing as a commentator for numerous Grand Slam and high-profile matches on television. His tennis encyclopedia is considered the sport's authoritative source. Collins has also found success playing tennis, winning the U.S. indoor mixed doubles title in 1961.
Tennis Insiders is an original, monthly series produced by The Tennis Channel. Each 30-minute episode features a spirited discussion on the game of tennis, held by a panel of players, coaches, executives, agents and other industry representatives. The first episodes are moderated by Hall of Fame tennis journalist and broadcaster Bud Collins. The series is shot out in the open at various tournament locations on the men's and women's tennis tours, in front of an audience that is afforded the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists toward the end of each episode.
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.