Tennis Channel, ATP World Tour Extend Media Partnership
Tennis Channel will continue to carry top-level men’s tennis under an extension of its rights agreement with the ATP World Tour (the governing body of men’s professional tennis) and the tour’s broadcast arm ATP Media. Twenty-one ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 events, along with the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, will appear on the network and via authenticated digital streams under the multiyear deal.
For the first time in the media partnership, Tennis Channel will have live, over-the-top (OTT) streaming rights to Masters 1000 and 500 events, which the network will offer on its digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus, beginning today (excluding events in Indian Wells, CA and Miami). Also new are expanded video-on-demand rights and increased network access to classic matches and clips from ATP Media’s extensive archive.
As a result of the agreement, the combination of Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will offer live coverage of every round of all but three men’s tournaments within the partnership (Indian Wells, Miami, Nitto ATP Finals).
“We’re pleased that Tennis Channel will show the world’s best tennis for years to come,” says Lawrence Randall, executive director, programming, Tennis Channel.
“Since our first season on air we’ve worked with the ATP to offer year-round, in-depth exposure to these dramatic events – something that hadn’t existed previously. Our viewers have grown to rely on Tennis Channel for the best tennis throughout the year.”
Since its launch in 2003, Tennis Channel has covered more ATP World Tour tournaments annually than all other U.S. broadcasters combined.
Mark Webster, CEO, ATP Media, says, “Tennis Channel continues to be a highly valued broadcast partner of ATP Media and we are delighted to be able to not only extend our existing agreement with them, but also expand the scope of their rights to allow even more live tennis to be seen across the U.S. via Tennis Channel’s exciting new Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service.”
From early February to late November, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 tournaments showcase the planet’s greatest tennis players, and last year represented more than 600 live matches and more than 1,000 hours of Tennis Channel programming. Next to the sport’s four majors, these events make up the most important in tennis in terms of prestige, competition, attendance and prize money.
Featuring some of the most prominent tennis events in the world, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 competitions will be available to all Tennis Channel Plus subscribers regardless of whether they have Tennis Channel at home. They join an over-the-top streaming lineup that already covers 20 other tournaments, including the French Open.
“This extension more than doubles our tournament lineup on Tennis Channel Plus and gives subscribers a more comprehensive live tennis schedule throughout the year,” says Adam Ware, senior vice president, head of digital and new business development, Tennis Channel.
“In the almost four years since introducing our premium OTT service, we’ve been committed to steadily growing the platform and giving tennis fans more of what they want live and on demand, and this is a significant step toward that mission.”
Chris Kermode, chairman and president, ATP, says, “Tennis Channel has been an important media partner to the ATP World Tour for many years now, and we’re delighted to enter this new and expanded agreement which will give tennis fans in the U.S. the opportunity to watch more ATP World Tour tennis on Tennis Channel’s linear and digital broadcasts than ever before.”