Tennis Channel Nets Long-Term Coverage

Jul 15, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Tennis Channel last week reached a long-term agreement with Wimbledon’s governing All England Club that will give the network close to 100 total hours of coverage during the annual tennis championship tournament.
Wimbledon, dubbed the crown jewel of tennis and one of the sport’s four Grand Slam tournaments, will now be seen through at least 2011 on NBC, ESPN and Tennis Channel once all the deals are completed.
Tennis Channel has two other Grand Slam events, the French Open and the Australian Open, on its 2008 roster and is negotiating to continue its coverage of the fourth, the U.S. Open, as well.
Tennis Channel also will be given access to the tournament’s library of classic matches and other historic video. The network will bring viewers nightly, prime-time coverage through “Wimbledon After Dark,” a four-hour program that will immerse viewers in the Wimbledon experience.
“A year ago it would be hard to imagine that Tennis Channel would have the telecast rights to a single slam, but now Wimbledon represents a third jewel in the crown and it holds a special place due to the history and importance of that tournament to the game,” said Ken Solomon, president of Tennis Channel. “Our job is to introduce audiences to these amazing stars from the four corners of the globe, and as we continue to extend our reach not only from a distribution standpoint but also from a content standpoint, we are fulfilling that goal.”
The outlet will put network talent on the ground in London and produce the matches it covers at Wimbledon.
In addition, rights for a digital media component with broadband applications were part of the network’s deal with the All England Club.
“Wimbledon After Dark” will follow the pattern of the network’s program “French Open Tonight,” which brought U.S. television audiences a prime-time Grand Slam program. The four-hour show will recap the biggest battles of the day, provide previously unseen matches, offer analysis with players and other tennis guests and showcase the tournament’s history.
U.S. television ratings for Wimbledon singles finals this year beat 2006 numbers by more than 10 percent in the case of the men’s championship, and 27 percent in the case of the women’s.


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