Tennis Channel To Be Exclusive U.S. Television Home of the New Laver Cup
Tennis Channel will be the exclusive U.S. television home of the Laver Cup, the newly created annual competition that will pit six of the top men’s tennis stars from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world. The network has signed a multi-year rights agreement with event organizers TRIDENT8 and Tennis Australia, acting as sales agent, to show the matchup in its entirety, with the inaugural edition planned for Sept. 22-24 in Prague, and the 2018 event in the United States.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two of the sport’s celebrated stars, have committed to play for Team Europe next month. Others include 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic and 2016-2017 French Open semifinalist Dominic Thiem. Team World will feature 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and American stars John Isner, who won the longest match in history at Wimbledon in 2010; Jack Sock, winner of the 2014 Wimbledon doubles crown; and Sam Querrey, who has eliminated the World No. 1 singles player from each of the past two Wimbledon tournaments. More players are in talks to compete, while for the first three years Hall of Famers Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe — with 18 Grand Slam singles titles between them — have agreed to captain Team Europe and Team World, respectively, reliving the championship that captivated audiences during their playing days.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Tennis Channel to be present at the launch of this significant addition to the annual tennis calendar, especially an event named after one of the most iconic, favorite Hall of Fame idols of all time,” says Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “In addition to the rock star-studded lineup, for the first time in history viewers will have the chance to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in the midst of their epic, multi-decade rivalry, competing together – including potentially playing doubles as a team – as opposed to against each other. We fully expect the Laver Cup to grow into a hallowed sports-world tradition in the decades to come, and we’re eager to facilitate by launching the event front and center to close to 60 million paid subscriber households around the country, as well as aggressively integrating support for the event on both Tenischannel.com and on our newest platforms Tennis.com and Tennis magazine.”
The 2017 Laver Cup competition will take place in Prague’s O2 Arena and has already sold out, making it the fastest selling event in the venue’s history. Team Europe and Team World will play three singles and one doubles match each day, Friday through Sunday, with points awarded for each match. The event is named for Australian tennis icon Rod Laver, the only player to twice win all four singles majors in the same year. A Hall of Famer whose career straddled the end of tennis’ amateur era and the beginning of today’s Open Era, he was among the barnstorming players who ushered in the modern age of high-profile professional tennis.
“I’m really excited that Tennis Channel will be the home of the Laver Cup here in the States,” says Laver. “There’s already a spectacular field and I can’t wait to watch the first competition get underway next month.”
Though the site has yet to be announced, Laver Cup organizers plan to hold the 2018 event in the United States, with a return to Europe in 2019.