Monday, May 12, 2008
If you're not into Tennis this isn't really news, but if you are it most certainly is. For the first time ever at least part of all four Tennis Grand Slam Tournaments will air on one network and that network is ESPN....
ESPN and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have agreed to a six-year television and digital rights agreement that brings the US Open in New York to ESPN for the first time, starting in 2009. ESPN2 will carry approximately 100 hours of live action from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center annually, in addition to an expansive array of digital rights for ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network, and other outlets and international coverage. In addition, ESPN2 will continue to televise the Olympus US Open Series – summer, hard-court events in North America leading to the US Open – with 96 hours annually.Seems like a pretty bold move to acquire the rights to a Sport that hasn't been the same for a few years, but if you've got three you mind as well get the fourth. Majors are kind of like Railroads in Monopoly in that regard.
This development completes a Grand Slam for ESPN….the company now presents all four tennis majors: the Australian Open (since 1984), the French Open (1986 – 1993 and since 2002), Wimbledon (since 2003) and the US Open – on ESPN2, the Grand Slam Network. No other U.S. television network has previously televised all four events.