ESPN may be close to stealing a sports event that has been a fixture on CBS for 45 years. The New York Post reports that the cable channel is positioning to snag the U.S. Open tennis tournament, which has been airing on CBS since 1968.
ESPN is prepared to pay $60 million for the rights, or about 50% more than the tournament currently fetches, to begin airing the championship in 2015, the story says.
CBS, the Tennis Channel and ESPN now each air parts of the U.S. Open, with the rights fees split among the networks. Under the new deal, ESPN would gain rights to the total event.
The agreement would also switch the men’s finals back to Sunday evening from their current Monday slot so they wouldn’t conflict with ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the story adds.