Tennis Channel, ESPN Agree To New Multimedia Deal

By Marcus Vanderberg Comment

The Tennis Channel and ESPN agreed to a new four-year multimedia programming alliance for the Australian and French Opens.

As part of the deal, which takes effect with the 2012 French Open, ESPN’s telecast windows of the French Open will now be virtually live, starting at 5 a.m. ET for five hours. Both ESPN and the Tennis Channel will continue to broadcast from both Grand Slam events.

“Sports fans want to see the action live and that’s how we deliver tennis and all our sports,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “Tennis fans are among the most dedicated – willing to stay up or get up to see live competition – and that’s what we will provide for years to come from Melbourne and Paris. In addition, we look forward to continuing our relationship with Tennis Channel to best serve tennis fans at both events.”

“Not only is there more championship-caliber tennis on television week-after-week than ever before, but consistent, daily schedules allow fans to follow and enjoy this sport in a way that was impossible even just a few years ago,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “With this arrangement there will be no more guesswork during the Australian Open: just turn your TV on when you get home at 7 o’clock and we’ll be there live, night after night. Tennis fans are the big winners here, as has been the case ever since Tennis Channel and ESPN started working together”