LOS ANGELES, February 8, 2006 —
Tennis Legend in Broadcast Booth as Expert Analyst for all Five First-Round Matches between the United States and Romania
OLN and The Tennis Channel announced today that Hall of Fame tennis legend John McEnroe will be in the broadcast booth this weekend during the networks’ complete, live coverage of the first-round Davis Cup by BNP Paribas meeting between the United States and Romania. McEnroe, a five-time winner of the Davis Cup, the most coveted trophy in men’s international team cup competition, will act as expert analyst alongside The Tennis Channel’s lead play-by-play broadcaster Leif Shiras. It is McEnroe’s first stint as an analyst on either network.
This week The Tennis Channel and OLN unveiled a new U.S. Davis Cup television partnership that allows full, live coverage and same-day, prime-time replays of all U.S. team matches in La Jolla, Calif., Feb. 10-12. The Tennis Channel and OLN are carrying 30 hours of first-round U.S. Davis Cup action between them, including 15 hours dedicated to complete, live coverage of the entire event.
“John McEnroe is the most recognizable face in tennis commentary and his legacy in Davis Cup is in a league of its own,” said Steve Bellamy, president and founder of The Tennis Channel. “It is our goal to make every broadcast spectacular and John is a perfect addition to a wonderful venue and an incredible U.S. team.”
McEnroe’s name is synonymous with Davis Cup success. Beyond winning the championship five times as a member of the U.S. team during his playing days, he is the all-time record holder in U.S. Davis Cup total wins (59 wins vs. 10 losses), singles wins (41-8), ties or rounds played (30), and years played (12). Additionally, McEnroe and Peter Fleming’s 14-1 Davis Cup doubles record still stands as the best in U.S. history. During a 1982 quarterfinal-round match against Sweden, McEnroe and Mats Wilander played what remains the longest match in Davis Cup history, a six-hour, 22-minute affair that McEnroe won 9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6.
“McEnroe had competitive intensity on the court that was unrivaled,” said OLN President Gavin Harvey. “He does an excellent job translating that passion from the court into the booth and his insider perspective enhances any tennis match. These qualities make him a perfect fit for OLN.”
In addition to its U.S. Davis Cup partnership with OLN, The Tennis Channel holds U.S. telecast rights to all other international team cup matches, including Davis Cup, the women’s Fed Cup and the mixed teams Hopman Cup. As part of that ongoing coverage, this weekend the network will televise the meeting between Germany and France live as well, expanding the combined coverage with OLN to 45 total hours. This should feature a rematch of the bitter Australian Open quarterfinal between Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer and France’s Sebastien Grosjean.
Beginning Friday, February 10, at 8 a.m. ET, The Tennis Channel will televise the first singles match between Germany and France, live from Halle, Germany. Live coverage of the first two singles matches in La Jolla between the United States and Romania begins at 2 p.m. ET. Following both U.S.-Romania matches, The Tennis Channel will carry the second Germany-France singles contest, beginning at 5 p.m. ET. A full replay of both the U.S. vs. Romania match will begin at 8 p.m. ET on The Tennis Channel.
The Tennis Channel will begin the action Saturday, Feb. 11, with a live telecast of the second-day doubles match between Germany and France, set for 8:30 a.m. ET. Then, at 4 p.m. ET, OLN will present exclusive live coverage of the second-day doubles match between the United States and Romania. The U.S. match will be replayed on The Tennis Channel at 8 p.m. ET.
Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7 a.m. ET, The Tennis Channel will begin the final day’s action with a live telecast of the last two Germany vs. France singles matches. At 2 p.m. ET, OLN will do the same with the United States vs. Romania singles matches, with The Tennis Channel immediately airing a replay of the day’s U.S.-Romania action at 8 p.m. ET.
The 2006 U.S. Davis Cup team includes third-ranked singles player and former No. 1 Andy Roddick, winner of the 2003 US Open. The world’s top-ranked doubles tandem and winners of the 2006 Australian Open, twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, are also on this year’s squad. No. 20 James Blake, who made headlines with his inspired play at the 2005 US Open, rounds out the U.S. Davis Cup roster. McEnroe’s brother Patrick coaches the U.S. Davis Cup team as captain.
OLN is the leader in competitive and adrenaline-charged content. Now in more than 63 million homes, OLN is the cable home of the National Hockey League and best-in-class events like The Tour de France, The America’s Cup, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the Boston Marathon and USSA Skiing. The network offers unique programming in four primary areas: Action Sports, Field Sports, Bulls & Rodeo and Awe-Inspiring Series, and is the exclusive home of Survivor in syndication. OLN, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it. As the most concentrated single-sport network on television, the brand combines comprehensive sports coverage with health, fitness, pop culture, lifestyle and travel programming. Fifty-two week tournament telecast rights include the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, offering compelling coverage of the game’s most dramatic rivalries and energetic personalities.
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