Tennis Channel is an American sports-oriented digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by the Sinclair Television Group subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It is devoted to events and other programming related to the game of tennis, along with other racquet sports such as badminton and racquetball. Launched on May 15, 2003, the channel is headquartered in Culver City, California, and produces its programming out of an HD-capable broadcast center in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City. Ken Solomon serves as the network's chief executive officer.
|Launched||May 15, 2003|
|Owned by||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|Slogan||Where Champions Live|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California|
|DirecTV||Channel 217 (SD/HD)|
|Dish Network||Channel 400 (SD/HD)|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV|
|Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|YouTube TV||Internet Protocol television|
|Fubo TV||Internet Protocol Television|
In 2001, the Tennis Channel was founded by Steve Bellamy, who soon hired Bruce Rider to head up programming and marketing. A group known as the "Viacom Mafia"—a group that includes Viacom’s former CEOs, Philippe Dauman and Frank Biondi, and current CEO, Thomas E. Dooley—became involved in the founding of the channel. This group invested and rounded up additional investors, Bain Capital Ventures, J.P. Morgan Partners, Battery Ventures, Columbia Capital, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, who as a group invested about $100 million. These founders felt with other single sports channel like the Golf Channel succeeding with a mostly male demographic and tennis having viewer of both sexes and of a desirable high-end demographic that a tennis channel would draw in advertisers. The channel was launched in early-2003, with its first live event being a Fed Cup tie in Lowell, Massachusetts in April.Barry MacKay was one of the original Commentators.
In 2005, Tennis Channel acquired the ATP Tour's Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic in Scottsdale (which it had held the television rights to) from IMG, and moved it to Las Vegas as the Tennis Channel Open in 2006. Tennis Channel moved the open to Las Vegas for 2006, and announced plans to hold women's and junior events alongside it.
In 2005, after struggling viewership (having only reached a subscriber base of 5 million by 2006), credited to a lack of coverage of high-profile tournaments (such as the Grand Slam, the channel's management was replaced by a new team led by Ken Solomon. As the channel had not broadcast any of the four Grand Slam tournaments by then. The subscriber base was only 5 million in 2006. On February 1, 2006, Tennis Channel became a charter member of the new Association of Independent Programming Networks. Tennis Channel's senior vice president of distribution Randy Brown was a co-founder of the group, alongside The American Channel's Doron Gorshein.
Outbidding ESPN by double, Tennis Channel acquired cable rights to the French Open in 2006. The network sub-licensed approximately half of the package to ESPN, at a lower cost than ESPN would have paid for the entire tournament. In 2008, Tennis Channel sold the Tennis Channel Open event back to the ATP, citing growth of its core businesses tied to its rapid acquisitions of Grand Slam tournament rights; beginning 2009, Tennis Channel also split cable rights to the US Open with ESPN.
In April 2013, Al Jazeera Media Network was speculated as expressing interest in purchasing the channel to compliment beIN Sports, though nothing came of this. The channel opened an online store selling professional and lifestyle golfing merchandise and gear on August 14, 2013. The store is operated by Delivery Agent under the Shop TV brand.
In 2013, Tennis Channel launched its TV Everywhere service Tennis Channel Everywhere. On May 25, 2014, the network also launched Tennis Channel Plus, a new direct-to-consumer subscription service including coverage of additional events not seen on television, also including digital rights to the French Open outside of the finals. Tennis Channel carriers receive a cut of profits from the service.
In 2015, Tennis Channel acquired rights to the Citi Open, an ATP World Tour 500 and WTA International tournament in Washington, D.C., under a four-year contract. The event was formerly part of the US Open Series, but withdrew due to frustration over the limited television coverage provided by ESPN—who owns the rights to all events that are part of the US Open Series due to its new contract to be exclusive broadcaster of the US Open proper.
On January 27, 2016, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of over-the-air television stations in the United States, announced that it would acquire Tennis Channel for $350 million. In the statement announcing the purchase Sinclair CEO David Smith said that Tennis Channel had high-quality content and advertisers, though it had been valued low and was under-distributed. Sinclair also gets greater than $200 million of net operating losses to offset its future taxes. The deal was closed on March 2, 2016. Days later, Tennis Channel announced an extension to its contract for the French Open. In addition, citing its preference to hold rights to the entire tournament, ESPN dropped its sub-licensing agreement with Tennis Channel for the French Open, giving it exclusive cable rights to the tournament (NBC continues to be the broadcast television rightsholder).
In March 2017, Sinclair additionally acquired Tennis magazine and Tennis.com, seeking to integrate Tennis Channel with them to boost its cross-platform presence. With the January 2018 launch of a new Tennis Channel app, the Tennis Channel add two more channels to the app, Tennis Channel Plus 2 (with TC Plus adding a 1) and The T, a free channel.
In October 2018, it was announced that Tennis Channel had acquired rights to the 46 overseas events of the WTA Tour under a five-year deal beginning in 2019, replacing beIN Sports. beIN had acquired the WTA Tour rights as part of a larger deal covering 30 countries, but the deal faced criticism from U.S. viewers due to the network's narrow carriage (only serving half as many households as Tennis Channel, with several top providers having also dropped the channel that August), as well as scheduling conflicts that favored soccer matches—giving events inconsistent and intermittent coverage.
The network broadcasts live tournaments, news, one-on-one interviews, game analysis and skills instruction. Tennis Channel provides extensive coverage of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup as well as other tournaments throughout the year. Tennis Channel is the exclusive cable rightsholder of the French Open; while it previously sub-licensed portions of this coverage to ESPN, this arrangement ended in 2015.
On September 4, 2011 during the US Open, Tennis Channel pulled its signal from Verizon FiOS, Cablevision, Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom, WOW!, Knology and General Communication Inc. systems after the providers declined to accept a new agreement that the Tennis Channel made with the National Cable Television Cooperative (a group which the seven providers are members). Along with a fee increase, the agreement also required that the Tennis Channel be moved from their optional sports package to their digital basic tiers. Tennis Channel returned to Verizon FiOS on January 17, 2012.
In July 2012, the Federal Communications Commission ruled in favor of Tennis Channel following a three-year dispute between the network and Comcast over placement on extra-fee sports tier. As a result of the ruling, Comcast was prompted to remove Tennis Channel from its sports package tier, available to customers via an extra charge, and carry the network on the same basic cable tier as Comcast-owned Golf Channel and NBCSN. The FCC found Comcast's previous handling of the network to be discriminatory. This marked the first time that a cable distributor was found to have violated federal anti-discrimination rules. Comcast successfully disputed the ruling in 2013, continuing to carry Tennis Channel on its sports package. The company appealed to the Supreme Court, but was denied a hearing.
The 1989 Eagle Classic was a men's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States that was part of World Championship Tennis and the 1989 Nabisco Grand Prix. The tournament took place from March 6 through March 13, 1989. First-seeded Ivan Lendl won the singles title.1996 Arizona Tennis Championships
The 1996 Arizona Tennis Championships was a men's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States and was part of the World Series of the 1996 ATP Tour. It was the ninth edition of the tournament and ran from March 4 through March 10, 1996.1997 Franklin Templeton Classic
The 1997 Franklin Templeton Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States and was part of the World Series of the 1997 ATP Tour. The tournament ran from March 3 through March 9, 1997.1998 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic
The 1998 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States that was part of the International Series of the 1998 ATP Tour. The tournament was held from March 2 through March 9, 1998.1998 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic – Doubles
Luis Lobo and Javier Sánchez were the defending champions, but Sánchez did not participate this year. Lobo partnered Daniel Orsanic, losing in the first round.
Cyril Suk and Michael Tebbutt won the title, defeating Kent Kinnear and David Wheaton 4–6, 6–1, 7–6 in the final.1998 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic – Singles
Mark Philippoussis was the defending champion, but lost in the second round this year.
Andre Agassi won the title, defeating Jason Stoltenberg 6–4, 7–6(7–3) in the final.1999 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic
The 1999 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic was an Association of Tennis Professionals tennis tournament held in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States. The tournament was held from March 1 to March 8. Jan-Michael Gambill won the singles title.1999 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic – Doubles
Cyril Suk and Michael Tebbutt were the defending champions, but lost in the quarterfinals this year.
Justin Gimelstob and Richey Reneberg won the title, defeating Mark Knowles and Sandon Stolle 6–4, 6–7(4–7), 6–3 in the final.1999 Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic – Singles
Andre Agassi was the defending champion, but retired from his semifinals match this year.
Jan-Michael Gambill won the title, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 7–6(7–2), 4–6, 6–4 in the final.2001 Franklin Templeton Classic
The 2001 Franklin Templeton Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States that was part of the International Series of the 2001 ATP Tour. The tournament ran from March 5 through March 11, 2001.2001 Franklin Templeton Classic – Singles
Lleyton Hewitt was the defending champion but lost in the semifinals to Francisco Clavet.
Clavet won in the final 6–4, 6–2 against Magnus Norman.2002 Franklin Templeton Classic
The 2002 Franklin Templeton Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States and was part of the International Series of the 2002 ATP Tour. The tournament ran from March 4 through March 10, 2002.2003 Franklin Templeton Classic
The 2003 Franklin Templeton Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States and was part of the International Series of the 2003 ATP Tour. The tournament ran from March 3 through March 9, 2003.2004 Franklin Templeton Classic
The 2004 Franklin Templeton Classic was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States and was part of the International Series of the 2004 ATP Tour. The tournament ran from March 1 through March 7, 2004.2007 Tennis Channel Open and the Mirage Cup
The 2007 Tennis Channel Open was a tennis event on the 2007 ATP Tour. Lleyton Hewitt, who was the 2006 runner-up, was the singles champion, while Bob and Mike Bryan were the doubles champions. The event was held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Darling Tennis Center. It was the twentieth Tennis Channel Open, but just the second to be held in Las Vegas. The ITF women's competition was won by Caroline Wozniacki in singles and by Victoria Azarenka and Tatiana Poutchek for doubles.2008 Tennis Channel Open
The 2008 Tennis Channel Open was a men's tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It was the 21st edition of the Tennis Channel Open, and was part of the International Series of the 2008 ATP Tour. It took place at The Amanda & Stacy Darling Memorial Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, from March 3 through March 9, 2008.
The singles field featured Viña del Mar champion Fernando González, former World No. 1 and 2007 Cincinnati Masters semifinalist Lleyton Hewitt, and Marseille semifinalist Marcos Baghdatis. Other top seeds competing were 2007 Metz semifinalist Guillermo Cañas, Buenos Aires and Acapulco quarterfinalist Potito Starace, Michaël Llodra, Robin Söderling and Nicolas Kiefer.
Unseeded Sam Querrey won the singles title.2015 Las Vegas Challenger
The 2015 Las Vegas Challenger was a professional tennis tournament played on hard courts. It was the first edition of the revamped tournament which was part of the 2015 ATP Challenger Tour. Challenger level events had ended in Las Vegas in the year 2000. It took place in Las Vegas, United States between 19 and 25 October 2015.Bill Macatee
Bill Macatee (born November 17, 1955) is an American sports broadcaster for CBS Sports and Tennis Channel.Tennis Channel Open
The Tennis Channel Open was a men's tennis tournament on the ATP International Series which was held for the first time in Las Vegas, Nevada from February 27 to March 5, 2006. In the men's singles final, James Blake defeated Lleyton Hewitt while the men's doubles title was won by Bob and Mike Bryan.
In 2005 The Tennis Channel purchased the tournament from IMG and moved it from Scottsdale to Las Vegas. In April 2008, The Tennis Channel announced that it was selling the tournament to the ATP, and the week the event had been held is now the first week of Davis Cup.
1 Operated by Sinclair under an LMA.
|Grand Slam tournaments|