The United States Tennis Association, ESPN and the Tennis Channel have all announced a new deal that gives the U.S. Open a new home starting in 2009. Just as ESPN2 and Tennis Channel have sharing agreements on the first three Grand Slam tennis tournaments of the year, the two entities will also share the rights for the U.S. Open.
From the press release, here is breakdown of the coverage starting next year:
US Open Television Coverage
ESPN’s US Open coverage will include approximately 100 hours, including weekday afternoon coverage and exclusive weekday primetime broadcasts. Tennis Channel will broadcast more than 60 live hours from the US Open, including exclusive primetime broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday evenings of Labor Day weekend. Below is a summary of the schedule and a full US Open TV schedule is attached:
- ESPN2: Live every weekday from 1-6 p.m. and primetime from 7-11 p.m.
- Tennis Channel: Live every weekday from 11-2 p.m.; live outer court coverage from 2-6 p.m.; daily Preview Show from 10-11 a.m.; nightly Highlights Show at 11 p.m. followed by encore of matches until 10 a.m. the next morning.
Labor Day Weekend
- CBS: Live coverage from 11-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
- ESPN2: Live coverage on Monday from 7-11 p.m.
- Tennis Channel: Live coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 7-11 p.m.; nightly Highlights Show at 11 p.m. followed by encore of matches until 10 a.m. the next morning.
- ESPN2: Live Tuesday – Thursday from 11-6 p.m. and live primetime quarterfinals from 7-11 p.m.
- Tennis Channel: Live outer court coverage from 11-6 p.m; daily Preview Show from 10-11 a.m.; nightly Highlights Show at 11 p.m. followed by encore
of matches until 10 a.m. the next morning.
- CBS: Live coverage during Finals weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Men’s Doubles Final, the Men’s and Women’s Semifinals, the Women’s Primetime Final on Saturday night and the Men’s Final on Sunday.
- ESPN2: Live coverage of Women’s Doubles Final at 1 p.m. Sunday; US Open Wrap-Up Show from 8-10 p.m.
Of course, ESPN gets the digital rights to the US Open which allows the Alleged Worldwide Leader to stream the tournament online. USA Network usually streams one night of coverage and that’s usually due to a conflict with WWE Raw. Now, the entire tournament will be seen on ESPN360. Here are the details of the online rights.
US Open Digital and Extended Platforms
The components of this multi-platform deal include cable television, broadband, mobile properties, and Spanish language distribution via ESPN Deportes.
- ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network, can present action from all TV courts during ESPN2 windows, plus simulcasts of ESPN2’s coverage, totaling more than 300 hours.
- ESPN.com will provide blanket coverage of the US Open, with the latest news and scores, as well as commentary, photos and daily video news and summaries from ESPN commentators.
- ESPN Mobile Properties will present live action, press conferences and highlights.
- ESPN has the right to display a multi-court mosaic platform during its TV windows.
- Tennischannel.com will have rights to stream live match action on a non-exclusive basis.
- ESPN International, which has been a US Open broadcast partner for several years, will continue to provide US Open broadcasts to Latin America and sub-Sahara Africa.
- USOpen.org also plans to stream US Open matches and will continue to feature exclusive live scoring.
In addition, the agreement covers the US Open Series which is a month-long run of tournaments leading to the US Open in New York.
Olympus US Open Series TV Coverage
- ESPN2 will remain the lead broadcaster of the Series and provide nearly 100 hours of consistent live weekly coverage, including back-to-back Men’s and Women’s Finals on Sundays from 3-7 p.m.
- Tennis Channel will continue to provide nearly 150 hours of Series coverage, and weekly encore telecasts of Semifinals and Finals.
- CBS will continue to provide live Finals coverage from select Series events.
- Since its launch four years ago, the Series has doubled television viewership, increased event attendance and generated new corporate partners for the sport.
- In 2008, Olympus became the first Series title sponsor, with the Series renamed the “Olympus US Open Series.”
- In total, the 2007 Olympus US Open Series — including the US Open — generated a record 1.7 million attendees, more than 120 million TV viewers, and over 32 million website visits in the 8-week period.
USA Network which had been the cable home of the US Open since 1984 will drop coverage of the tournament and is getting out of the sports business.