ESPN and the ATP have finalized an agreement that will continue television coverage of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Canada and Cincinnati each summer starting in 2016. The coverage – part of ESPN’s continuing extensive schedule of the Emirates Airline US Open Series– totals nearly 50 hours and covers the last four days of each tournament including the semifinals and championship. The agreement also includes WTA matches from the Western & Southern Open in Ohio (ESPN will also continue coverage of the WTA Canada event as part of a separate agreement). ESPN first aired ATP matches from Canada in 1984 and from Cincinnati in 1993.
“We are coming off the biggest and best year of tennis ever for ESPN including the spectacular success of our first exclusive US Open, so we are thrilled that these two top events will continue to be key pieces of our summer tennis lineup,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming acquisitions. “With the four most prominent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events – Indian Wells, Miami, Canada and Cincinnati; the WTA and ATP year-end championships; and first-to-last ball coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, we are very proud in our leadership position in tennis and look forward to a strong finish to the season this year.”
Said Mark Young, ATP Vice Chairman & Chief Legal & Media Officer, “This agreement with ESPN is terrific news for tennis fans in the U.S. as we look to maximize coverage of our top-tier ATP events during the summer hard court swing. ESPN has a long and distinguished history as a broadcast partner of the ATP, and we’re delighted to see that continue with this latest agreement.”
At the recent US Open, the new all-ESPN presentation resulted in the tournament’s biggest TV audience in four years – capped by a Men’s Championship seen by 43 percent more people than last year and more young males than in six years – plus an explosion of live streaming on WatchESPN across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected TV devices.
ATP World Tour Finals
Next week, ESPN will present extensive coverage of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals from The O2 in London. The action – including doubles – begins Sunday, Nov. 15, on ESPN3 with ESPN2 joining Thursday, Nov. 19 – Sunday, Nov. 22. Details
ESPN and Tennis
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air, providing numerous memorable moments from around the world, but it has never been as important as today, with the unprecedented position of presenting three of the sports Major events from start to finish (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, with exclusivity at the latter two).