Tennis Channel, the main cable rightsholder for the French Open, has announced its coverage plans for second Grand Slam tournament of the year. This year, Tennis Channel will begin its coverage during the first week at 10 a.m. ET, then move to 5 a.m. on the first weekend.
John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova will be the main analysts for the French Open on Tennis Channel. Bill Macatee will host and also be on during French Open Tonight which will begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Other announcers working the tournament will be Ted Robinson, Ian Eagle, Mary Carillo, Rennae Stubbs, Brett Haber, Lindsay Davenport, Leif Shiras, Justin Gimelstob, Katrina Adams and Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim.
Let’s take a look at the Tennis Channel release.
Close to 70 Live or First-Run Match Hours on Tap During Two-Week Event, from First Day of Play through Men’s Semifinal Round
Macatee Returns to Host French Open Tonight in Primetime; McEnroe, Navratilova, Davenport, Carillo, Robinson, Eagle, Haber, Gimelstob, Shiras, Adams, Stubbs, Wertheim to Handle Match Action
Hundreds of Hours of Free Digital Coverage Available on Network’s Web Site, Mobile App
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2013 – Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will begin its first day of 2013 French Open coverage with nine consecutive hours of matches followed by a another nine hours of interview-and-encore show French Open Tonight. This daily balance – long blocks of competition followed by an all-night review of the day’s play – will be the template for much of the network’s two-week telecast, set to get underway Sunday, May 26. With plans for close to 70 live match hours, more than 65 hours of encore replays, and 114 hours of French Open Tonight, Tennis Channel will devote more than 200 hours of seemingly round-the-clock coverage to the world’s most prestigious clay-court event this year.
In its seventh year at Roland Garros, Tennis Channel’s live coverage runs from the first day of play through the men’s semifinal round and includes encore replays of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinal and championship competitions. The network’s most common daily schedule will offer live matches from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET. From 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. it will showcase the day’s best action via encore match replays, regardless of whether the matches originally aired live on Tennis Channel or broadcast partners NBC or ESPN2 (a complete schedule follows, below).
French Open Tonight, hosted by Bill Macatee (@BMacatee), will run from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. and then again twice throughout the late night and early morning. Since 2008 the show’s stage has overlooked the scenic Musketeer Plaza in the heart of the Roland Garros tournament grounds, with crowd bustle and spectator applause an ever present audio backdrop. As he has done since Tennis Channel’s first French Open in 2007, Macatee will bring his engaging interviewing approach into tennis fans’ homes each evening, encapsulating the day’s best through conversations with the players, coaches, and industry representatives who will write the history of this year’s tournament. Thirty-seven-and-a-half first-run hours of French Open Tonight are planned for 2013.
From 4 a.m.-5 a.m., Tennis Channel will run daily highlights provided by the event’s governing French Tennis Federation, before ESPN2 initiates a new day of match coverage at 5 a.m. Between Tennis Channel and ESPN2, viewers will have virtually non-stop, 24-hour coverage of the French Open. Since 2007, Tennis Channel has produced all telecasts for both channels, with each network cross-promoting the other’s telecast.
In addition to Macatee at the helm of French Open Tonight, Tennis Channel’s coverage in the City of Light has been marked each year by lead analysts Martina Navratilova (@Martina) and John McEnroe, Hall of Famers who return to the network booth in 2013. With 76 major championships between them – and reputations for telling it like it is – both have endeared themselves to tennis fans through unique points of view honed by years of tennis knowhow and accomplishment.
“It’s great to be back at Roland Garros with Tennis Channel,” said Navratilova. “With Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer either attempting or rewriting history, it’s an exciting time in tennis.”
Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) will add her champions’ perspective to the network’s coverage again, along with fellow analysts Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) and Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs). Leif Shiras (@LShirock) and Katrina Adams (@katadams68) will see to Tennis Channel’s multiple-court mosaic offering to DIRECTV customers, while Mary Carillo will host the network’s live tournament desk and conduct interviews for the third consecutive year. Play-by-play responsibilities are again shared by Ted Robinson, Ian Eagle and Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), with Sports Illustrated‘s Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) on hand for special reports and opinion.
Broadband and Digital Coverage
Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, has offered free match streaming live and on demand since its first year of French Open coverage in 2007. Up to five simultaneous courts will be accessible to visitors from 5 a.m. ET through the end of the day’s play, with more than 300 hours overall. New for 2013, the network is launching a free mobile app – Tennis Channel Everywhere – that is available to all users of Apple or Android digital platforms. In addition to French Open matches, the app will include daily updates from Tennis Channel’s online video page with highlights, Court Report news and popular player Bag Check clips.
Veteran tennis reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) will be in Paris to contribute to Tennis Channel’s Web site again this year. Throughout the tournament online users can access real-time scoring, photos, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from French Open Tonight. Interactive tournament draws will be available later this week, as will sweepstakes information and the network’s “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game. Additionally, Tennis Channel’s digital team will introduce a Twitter feed, @TCEverywhere, that will be integrated with other social media channels to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Tennis Channel and its on-air team’s 2013 French Open production. Tennis Channel currently engages with viewers on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel.)
Tennis Channel’s Live 2013 French Open Match Schedule
(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)
Sunday, May 26 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., First-Round Action
Monday, May 27 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 28 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 29 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 30 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Second-Round Action
Friday, May 31 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Third-Round Action
Saturday, June 1 — 5 a.m.-Noon, Third-Round Action
Sunday, June 2 — 5 a.m.-1 p.m., Round-of-16 Action
Monday, June 3 — 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Round-of-16 Action
Tuesday, June 4 — 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Quarterfinals
Friday, June 7 — 7 a.m.-11 a.m., Men’s Semifinal
Tennis Channel’s encore coverage will include same-day replays of singles quarterfinals and semifinals, and the men’s and women’s singles championship matches after the tournament concludes (ET):
Wednesday, June 5 – 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals
Thursday, June 6 – 2 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s singles semifinals
Friday, June 7 – 5 p.m.-midnight: men’s semifinals=TBD: men’s and women’s finals
On Tuesday, June 11, the network will air the women’s doubles championship from 6 a.m.-8 a.m. ET and men’s doubles championship from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET.
Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule
Viewers who miss Tennis Channel’s live or encore match coverage during this year’s tournament can tune into French Open Tonight Sunday, May 26-Thursday, June 6. Typically the show airs from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. (all times ET), followed by immediate repeats from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. On Saturday, June 1, the show originally airs from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., followed by encores from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight and 12 a.m.-3 a.m. The schedule on Sunday, June 2, sees a first run from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., then 7 p.m.-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. Thursday, June 6, the show will air from 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m. and then 11:30 p.m.-4 a.m.