The Tennis Channel and WTA Tour Sign Three-Year Telcast Rights Agreement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eric Abner, Public Relations Director
2850 Ocean Park Blvd., Ste. 150
01/07/04 - The Tennis Channel, a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, and the WTA Tour (Women’s Tennis Association) have reached a three-year programming deal, providing the channel with U.S. telecast rights for the singles finals, semifinals and earlier matches for 13 international top-tier tournaments each season. The joint announcement was made today by Steve Bellamy, president and founder, The Tennis Channel, and Larry Scott, chairman and chief executive officer of the WTA Tour.
The agreement, which begins this year and runs through the 2006 season, features several of the most elite events on the WTA Tour calendar, showcasing many of the biggest names in women’s professional tennis. This year’s tournaments are: the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo; the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium; the Dubai Duty Free Open in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Qatar; the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland; the MasterCard German Open in Berlin; the Telecom Italia Masters Roma in Rome; the Hastings Direct International Championships in Eastbourne, England; the Rogers AT&T Cup in Montreal; the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany; the Kremlin Cup in Moscow; the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, Switzerland; and Generali Ladies Linz presented by Bank Austria Creditanstalt in Linz, Austria.
A preliminary telecast schedule is available on www.thetennischannel.com and www.wtatour.com.
“We couldn’t be more excited that The Tennis Channel is going to be the U.S. home of these premium, international tournaments, featuring the best female athletes in the world,” said Steve Bellamy, president and founder, The Tennis Channel. “We appreciate the continued support of the WTA Tour, and look forward to continuing our relationship with them as we work together to promote and grow women’s professional tennis.”
“We are thrilled to be partnered with The Tennis Channel in such a major way,” said Larry Scott, chairman and chief executive officer, the WTA Tour. “The WTA Tour has a tremendous amount of appreciation and support for The Tennis Channel, and both organizations share the mutual objective to elevate the stature and popularity of women’s tennis. This partnership gives tennis fans a wealth of new opportunities to see some extraordinary tennis action played out on a global stage.”
The Tennis Channel begins its 2004 international top-tier championship coverage in February, with the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium, and the Dubai Duty Free Open in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. March will bring the Qatar Total Open in Doha, Qatar, and April the J&S Cup in Warsaw, Poland.
In May the network will telecast action from the MasterCard German Open in Berlin, followed by the Telecom Italia Masters Roma in Rome. In June the Hastings Direct International Championships will take place in Eastbourne, England, and in August the Rogers AT&T Cup will determine its champion in Montreal. The Tennis Channel’s international top-tier slate winds down with four tournaments in October: the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany; the Kremlin Cup in Moscow; the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, Switzerland; and Generali Ladies Linz presented by Bank Austria Creditanstalt in Linz, Austria.
The best professional women tennis players regularly participate in these tournaments, which last year were won by eight of the top 11 women in the world. These included Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams.
The WTA Tour is the world’s premier professional sport for women with more than 1,100 players representing 76 nations competing for more than $58 million in prize money at the Tour’s 59 events in 31 countries. More than four million people attended women's tennis events in 2003 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The WTA Tour season concludes with the WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, November 10-15, 2004. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.wtatour.com.
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports that provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and superstar athletes. The network features comprehensive coverage of major tournaments including ATP, WTA Tour, World TeamTennis, Fed Cup, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup competition, and the European tournaments of the Tennis Masters Series. The network 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. The Tennis Channel’s investment group includes media and tennis industry leaders, blue chip Wall Street investors, and tennis greats Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.
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For Further information:
Eric Abner, The Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrie Gerlach, Anachel Communications Inc., 310-546-9170 or email@example.com
Jennifer Johnson, Anachel Communications, Inc., 310-546-9570 or firstname.lastname@example.org