new espn/atp agreement expands coverage for iw, miami, and world tour finals



PRESS RELEASE

ESPN expands of ATP coverage for Indian Wells, Miami, and ATP World Tour Finals

TV Schedule for Miami Now includes Both Finals; ESPN3 to Deliver More Action from Every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 & 500 Event

ESPN and the ATP World Tour have finalized a long-term agreement that will expand coverage of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.; Sony Open Tennis in Miami; and the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals currently played in London. More than 44 hours will be aired, including, for the first time, both the women’s and men’s championships from the South Florida event. Also, more live action from every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 tournament will be on ESPN3 – totaling up to 1,200 hours annually.

“ESPN is thrilled to expand coverage of three of the biggest events outside the Major Championships – Indian Wells, Miami and the ATP World Tour season finale,” said Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director, programming & acquisitions who oversees both ESPN3 and ESPN’s tennis business. “ESPN3 presents more live tennis action than any other U.S. outlet year-round, with multiple simultaneous matches available on broadband and via WatchESPN no matter where you are.”

Mark Young, CEO ATP Americas and Chief Media Officer, said, “We’re delighted to sign this extended agreement with ESPN, paving the way for even greater TV coverage and viewership in the US of our biggest events. ESPN is a terrific broadcast partner for the ATP and, with more fans tuning into ATP World Tour events than ever before, it’s a very exciting time to be a part of the Tour.”

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually via WatchESPN. It is available to 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012. Exclusivity for the US Open in an 11-year agreement begins in 2015.

About the BNP Paribas Open
The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, offers more than $12,000,000 in prize money, and is the only event to provide the Hawkeye line challenge system on all match courts. In 2013, more than 380,000 people attended the event. Visit www.bnpparibasopen.com for more information, including tickets and hotel vacation packages Indian Wells Tennis Garden Box Office, 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA, 92210.

About Sony Open Tennis
The 2014 Sony Open will be played March 17-30 at the Crandon Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The event’s international fan base, exotic location, and celebrity appeal give it an energy and excitement unlike any other event on tour. In 2013 Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer for his second Sony Open title, while Serena Williams knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her record sixth title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyOpenTennis.com.

About the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the season. Players compete for Emirates ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.92m prize money on offer for the winner. Played using a round-robin format, each player plays three matches as they compete for a berth in the knockout semi-finals and beyond. The prestigious tournament has been contested in major cities around the world with a rich history dating back to the birth of The Masters in 1970 in Tokyo. Since 2000 the event has taken place in cities such as Lisbon, Sydney, and Shanghai. In 2009 the tournament was moved to London, where it will be played through 2015.

tv: australian open on espn (men’s SFs + champs weekend)



espn-logo

For your DVR: The semi between Roger Federer and  Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open will be broadcast on ESPN (that’s the main stage, my squirrels) tonight at 3:30 a.m. ET.

The winner of this match will face two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, who reached the finals after a comfortable, straight-set win over David Ferrer. The men;s final will be broadcast on Sunday early morning, at 3 a.m. ET (12 a.m. PT).

The ladies’ championship, already set between former finalist Li Na and No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, will air on early Saturday morning, also at 3 a.m. ET.

Reruns: Both championship matches will receive two encore presentations on ESPN2, at 9 a.m. and in prime time. If you’d rather be off your couch and online, the matches will also stream on WatchESPN.com and via the WatchESPN app. More: Get all the info here.

short balls: the post-wimbledon edition



Changing of the (screen) guard: While the victories of Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic marked somewhat of a changing of the guard on the respective tours, the biggest change at Wimbledon came in the week after the tournament was over: in its TV coverage. It was announced earlier this week that ESPN had outbid NBC for full TV rights of the tournament, meaning the peacock network was pushed out of a gig it had held for some 43 years. And for ESPN? They’ll have the whole shebang for the next 12 Championships. The network team of ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will take over from London starting next year.

That’s a wrap? Did you miss the slew of Wimbledon post ops? If so, here’s a collection: Tignor’s A-List. Tignor’s the rest of them. Wertheim’s mail bag. ESPN’s Wimbledon grades. ESPN’s power rankingsWTA’s video highlights. Forty Deuce’s hilar “pic this.” The Guardian. Oh! The list goes on and on…

Too sexy for ya?  Time ran an interesting piece from its business section on the WTA‘s ad campaign, “Strong is Beautiful.” The thrust of the article: what the ?!?#?#%% Well, not exactly. But, the article points out that sexualizing the women the way this campaign does undermines women’s sports in a sense, and their ability to compete as athletes on court. We certainly see such a point.

The Journal recommends some tennis whites — including Boast — this summer. (WSJ)

Feeling Boastful? You guys know that TSF isn’t the only place online that talks about tennis fashion. OK, but we admit it: we’re the only ones that talk about it everyday. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal got in on the tennis fashion game during Wimbledon, running a piece that examined the cultural shift of the industry as it’s moved through the decades. Nope, tennis isn’t a rock-star sport driven by John McEnroe anymore, but the clothes he wore might be making a bit of a comeback. Featured in the article were one of TSF’s faves, Boast. | TSF Vault: Boast

Doesn’t it vibrate? While most of us have learned to silence our phones or at least put them on vibrate while at work or in public, it doesn’t seem as though Alize Cornet has attained such a habit. The Frenchwoman was down match point in the first round of the Swedish Open this week against world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki when a phone started ringing. Wozy first tried to ignore the noise, but it persisted, and she stepped back from the line to see if someone would answer/silence/ignore the call. It was then that her opponent, Cornet, ran to her bag to switch off the phone that had been ringing — hers! Hilarity. Video below:

Roll the tape: Seems as though the fellas at Tennis.com — Peter Bodo, Steve Tignor and Ed McGrogan — have a new outlet for their weekly chats. The trio has teamed up with BNP Paribas for a sit down in a round-table discussion called “The World of Tennis.” This week they talk about Andre Agassi, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame tomorrow in Newport, R.I. | ESPN: Agassi’s top 10 moments

Short(er) balls: It ain’t “Wimble-TIN.” Sportscaster raises money for charity by fueling PSA over pronunciation of Wimble-DON. | In case you forgot, Novak Djokovic is no. 1 in the world now. HEAD hails the king. | Are you reading Jonathan Scott‘s musings on Tennis.com’s “The Spin?” If not, you should be. | Lindsay Davenport is preggers and (tastefully) pulls out of the WTT season, via doctor’s orders. | This might be a little old, but who cares? It’s Maria Sharapova talking about Cole Haan. Take note, Martina Hingis. | Shouldn’t every short(er) balls end with Djoko dancing on stage? We think so.

(Image by George Ellison via Flickr.)

short balls: open hangover



We don’t know this guy, but he’s serving our post headline brilliantly with this beer-carrying pose. Great concentration on the step up, wouldn’t you say? (Photo by feltonamus via flickr.)

If you’re having a little bit of a US Open hangover like us, make sure to check out our week 2 podcast if you haven’t already. Erwin and I are chatting it up about all things TSF cares about at the USO. Which is all you should care about, too. Now, the short balls:

There’s nothing like curing a good tennis hangover with some non-tennis news. This version of (OT) is gay-tastic, which shouldn’t come too surprising to most of our readers. The VMAs happened on Sunday night in LA, and as a prep before the big show (in which Lady Gaga wore a meat dress – yes, meat), OUT.com put together a list of the gayest moments from the show’s nearly 30-year history. OUT also compiled photos from photographer Jeff Sheng that chronicles service men and women who have been effected by the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The exhibit is opening at the Kaycee Olsen gallery in LA on September 28th.

(MORE (OT)) As if you couldn’t get enough we have plenty of (OT) news up our sleeves this week. The blog we once loved to love is still churning out content, even after getting a book deal and getting published. Stuff White People Like is a hilarious and satirical blog. The latest ‘stuff’ white people like: The TED Conference. Hilarity. The US Olympic web site is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Sydney Olympics (remember Cathy Freeman? And Michael Johnson?!). And the New York Times flexes its graphic muscle with this panoramic view of the new Meadowlands Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants.

There’s been much (tennis) controversy following ESPN2‘s decision to cut away from the trophy ceremony at Flushing Meadows to commentary before the second Monday Night Football game of the night (yes, the second) between the Chiefs and the Chargers. Chris Chase laments on the Yahoo! tennis blog Busted Racquet about the debacle. We agree: us tennis fans are greatly outnumbered by the NFLers, but give our boys a little credit for the work they’ve done, and the history they’re making. Pretty sure no history was made on the gridiron on Monday night, no? Luckily, Forty Deuce has us saved with the full trophy presentation here. (And kudos on that post title, Courtney… )

While Serena (and Fashion Week) had/have nothing to do with the 2010 Open, there’s still plenty of connection between the two events. Fashion Week mainstay and Vogue editor Anna Wintour is a constant face (force?) in Roger Federer’s box and yesterday, Wintour’s right-hand man, Andre Leon Talley, penned a note for the Vogue Daily about Serena walking the runway for Fashion Week. As we write this, it’s 3 PM on Wednesday, so the big event’s already taken place (1 PM catwalk call time for ReRe at LaQuan‘s show at the Peninsula Hotel). Hopefully pictures soon. Meanwhile, this picture of Wintour and Serena at the Michael Kors show will have to do.

Serena and sister Venus both were a part of the Huffington Post‘s recent online musings. Venus’s US Open fireworks dress, which we talked at length about in our TSF podcast, was the subject of a photo gallery on the Huff‘s web site, while Serena is one of eight athletes selected by the Post as part of their Game Changer’s series.

Read more short balls with an epic version of short(er) balls after the cut. [Read more...]

malisse swings for sports center’s top 10 plays



Xavier Malisse pulled a trick out of the tennis bag last night in a first-set rally against Andy Roddick at the Atlanta Tennis Championships with an in-between the legs shot. Roddick was there to pounce at the net (click image above to watch the video), and the American won the match in three sets. The shot was #9 on Sports Center‘s Top 10 Plays reel from last night.

Delpo UPDATE: In Spanish on his Twitter account, Juan Martin del Potro told his fans: “I haven’t picked up a racquet yet so I can’t tell an exact date. When I know I’ll tell you the news here. I’m improving, that’s a good thing.” (Translation via Tennis-X blog.) Delpo musta read our timeline and decided it was time to clear things up.

(screen grab via espn.com)