Preview Shows Racquet Bracket: French Open and Tennis Channel Live at the French Open Feature Hall of Famers Tracy Austin and Lindsay Davenport, Amongst Others, in Lead up to the World’s Most Prestigious Clay Court Tournament
Network Dedicates More Than 260 Total Hours to the French Open, with 85-Plus Live or First-Run Match Hours and Nearly 40 First-Run Hours of Nightly French Open Tonight
Tennis Channel French Open On-Air Team to Include: Courier, Navratilova, Austin, Davenport, Macatee, Carillo, Gimelstob, Annacone, Wertheim, Adams, Haber, Eagle, Knowles, Robinson, Shiras and Weissman
LOS ANGELES, May 18, 2015 -In its ninth year of French Open coverage, Tennis Channel is launching two new preview shows that dive into the many variables of match ups and outcomes that could happen at the Paris-based major this year. The network will dedicate more than 13 total hours to Racquet Bracket: French Open and Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, premiering Friday, May 22, 8 p.m. ET and Saturday, May 23, 12 p.m. ET, respectively. Starting on Opening Day Sunday, May 24, through the men’s semifinals Friday, June 5, Tennis Channel will take viewers through 12 days of live coverage at the 2015 French Open, followed by same-day encore matches during the championship weekend. During the two-week event in the City of Light, the network will deliver more than 260 total hours of day-to-night coverage of the tournament, with more than 85 hours of live or first-run matches, nearly 45 hours of encore replays, and 122 hours of three-hour nightly primetime show French Open Tonight (37-and-a-half first-run) hosted by Bill Macatee.
“Tennis Channel has consistently added to its French Open coverage both on-air and digitally over the years,” said Jeremy Langer, vice president of programming, Tennis Channel. “We are continuing this with Racquet Bracket: French Open and Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, both of which will provide excellent context for viewers as we go into the tournament.”
Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), 2007 French Open doubles champion Mark Knowles (@knowlzee10s) and award-winning sportscaster Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) begin the network’s coverage, on the eve of the tournament, as hosts of the new one-hour French Open-draw show Racquet Bracket: French Open. The show breaks down the French Open draw, analyzing possible match ups that could take place in each round. Additionally, the show serves as an added boon for fans who partake in the network’s free annual online “Racquet Bracket” French Open prediction game.
Former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) along with 1998 French Open mixed doubles champion Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) and renowned commentators Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will host the network’s new Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, a one-hour preview show, which takes place from the Tennis Channel set on tournament grounds in Paris. They will take the audience through the pageantry and prestige of the French Open as tennis’ top talent prepare to make history in one of the oldest stadiums in the sport – Stade Roland Garros.
“Tennis Channel has done a terrific job expanding the amount of tennis on TV. It is great to be part of the effort to bring not just more matches to fans, but to also broaden the dialogue surrounding them,” said Austin.
The network’s usual daily schedule at the French Open is made up of nine-hour match blocks, which begin at 10 a.m. ET. Within each block, live coverage goes from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET most days, with encore replays from 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. ET. Directly following is the nightly recap show French Open Tonight at 7 p.m. ET. After its initial run, the show then re-airs throughout the evening until the following morning. A complete schedule is available below.
French Open Tonight typically premieres from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. ET. It then airs two more times until 4 a.m. ET. Bill Macatee (@Bmacatee) – one of America’s most respected sportscasters – has hosted every season of the show, now in its ninth year. The program provides a nightly discussion of that day’s tournament action, and viewers can see interviews with top players, the day’s best highlights, feature pieces, and full-set and game replays when needed. Macatee talks with many guests on the show, from players fresh from the court to top coaches and tennis officials, as well as Hall of Famers, celebrities, reporters, network analysts and more. Macatee’s conversational approach sets players at ease while making viewers feel as if they are sitting beside him on the elevated Tennis Channel set overlooking the tournament’s historic Musketeer Plaza.
Following early morning encore editions of French Open Tonight, the network will air daily highlights, from 4 a.m.-5 a.m. ET, produced by the French Open’s governing body, the French Tennis Federation. Directly following the highlights, ESPN2 begins its coverage at the start of each day’s play at 5 a.m. ET. As they have done since 2007, Tennis Channel and ESPN2 are offering viewers virtually non-stop, 24-hour coverage of the French Open. Tennis Channel produces all telecasts for both networks, with each cross-promoting the other’s telecast.
The week prior to the start of the French Open, Tennis Channel has a full slate of programming geared toward the tournament. In addition to the two new preview shows, viewers will be able to watch some of the best classic matches from recent French Open history. Starting May 19 through May 21, Tennis Channel will unveil a new classic match each day, ending with last year’s men’s final battle between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on May 23. Other matches include: Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer (2005 semifinal); Serena Williams versus Maria Sharapova (2013 final); and Garbine Muguruza versus Serena Williams (2014 second round).
Tennis Channel’s on-air talent for the French Open, in addition to French Open Tonight host Macatee and Racquet Bracket: French Open‘s Austin, Knowles and Weissman, includes lead women’s analyst, Hall of Famer and two-time French Open champion Martina Navratilova (@Martina). Navratilova, who has won more singles titles than anyone who has ever played professional tennis, and Macatee have appeared together on air for every Tennis Channel Grand Slam telecast. They started their dynamic relationship with the 2007 French Open.
Joining Macatee and Navratilova are fellow Hall of Famers and former World No. 1s Lindsay Davenport, a host of Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, and Jim Courier, a two-time French Open winner. This will be Davenport’s sixth and Courier’s second French Open as analysts for Tennis Channel. Also contributing to hosting as well as on-air duties is Mary Carillo, who will be serving as a live desk host, analyst and reporter in her fifth French Open as a part of the Tennis Channel team. Carillo has forged a path from professional tennis – a mixed doubles French Open champion in 1977 – to becoming one of television’s most revered journalists.
Adding to the talent in the broadcasting booth is Tennis Channel Live at the French Open host Justin Gimelstob and USTA President Katrina Adams (@katadams68) in their ninth and eighth years with Tennis Channel at the French Open. Adams, who won 21 doubles titles on the WTA tour, is the first former professional player to ascend to the top position. Coming to the City of Light for his second year at the French Open with the network is the much storied Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone). Known for his masterful coaching of Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and American star Sloane Stephens, Annacone will continue to add his expertise to the Tennis Channel booth.
Tennis Channel’s award-winning commentators will continue to bring their talent and know-how to Paris for the network. They include Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) in his ninth French Open for Tennis Channel, Ian Eagle (ninth), and former player and longtime tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras (@LShirock; eighth).
The Tennis Channel on-air team also includes Tennis Channel Live at the French Open hosts Brett Haber and Jon Wertheim. This is award-winning announcer Haber and Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Wertheim’s fourth French Open with the network. Haber will serve as a commentator and announcer while Wertheim will again handle special reports as well as offer commentary for Tennis Channel.
Broadband and Digital Coverage
Tennis Channel’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app is free to all Apple and Android users regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel, and it contains daily updates, online video highlights, Court Report news updates and player Bag Check and instruction clips for no additional charge. However, most of those viewers who subscribe to the network through a cable provider can watch the channel live whenever and wherever they want, through a TV Everywhere function, also at no extra cost.
Tennis Channel Plus, the network’s groundbreaking digital subscription service launched at last year’s tournament, will have a continuous live feed of multi-court coverage, with up to five courts available to stream the first five days of the tournament, and then three courts the next three days.
Tennis Channel Plus’ more than 360 hours of live coverage includes late-round matches like the women’s singles semifinals.
Again in 2015, veteran tennis reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) will be covering all the action on Paris’ clay courts and filing columns directly to Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com. Besides up-to-the-minute news and detailed analysis from Drucker and Flink, fans will also have access to interactive tournament draws, real-time scoring, photos, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from French Open Tonight through the Tennis Channel website.
For additional content, Tennis Channel’s social media platforms will offer a multi-platform experience for fans looking to stay engaged across the entirety of the tournament. To connect with Tennis Channel, visit: Facebook (www.facebook.com/
Tennis Channel’s Live 2015 French Open Match Schedule
(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)
Sunday, May 24 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. First-Round Action
Monday, May 25 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 26 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 27 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 28 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Second-Round Action
Friday, May 29 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Third-Round Action
Saturday, May 30 5 a.m.-Noon Third-Round Action
Sunday, May 31 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Round-of-16 Action
Monday, June 1 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Round-of-16 Action
Tuesday, June 2 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 4 6 a.m.-9 a.m. Mixed-Doubles Final
Thursday, June 4 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Women’s Semifinals (Tennis Channel Plus)
Friday, June 5 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Men’s Semifinal
This year, French Open encore match coverage on Tennis Channel will include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals as well as the men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):
Wednesday, June 3 – 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals
Thursday, June 4 – 2 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s semifinals
Friday, June 5 – 5 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s semifinals
Saturday, June 6 – 9 p.m.-11 p.m.: women’s final; 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.: men’s doubles final
Sunday, June 7 – 9 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s final; 12 a.m.-1:30 a.m.: women’s doubles final
(Additional encores will air subsequent days of the tournament and during the week of June 8.)
Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule (ET)
French Open Tonight will premiere from Sunday, May 24 through Friday, May 29, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Immediately following each premiere are back-to-back replays from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. During the first weekend of the tournament, French Open Tonight will debut from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and will re-air three consecutive times, 6 p.m. -9 p.m.; 9 p.m.-12 a.m.; 12 a.m.-3 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, and on Sunday, May 31.
For the second week of the tournament, French Open Tonight will premiere Monday, June 1, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. followed by three encores, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.; 1 a.m.-3:30 a.m.; 4:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. On Tuesday, June 2, the show will debut from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. followed by four encores from 8 p.m.-11 p.m.; 11 p.m.-2 a.m.; 2 a.m.-4:30 a.m.; 4:30-7:30 a.m. On Wednesday, June 3, French Open Tonight will premiere from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. followed by two encores from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. The final French Open Tonight will debut Thursday, June 4, and will consist of a four-and-a-half hour special edition from 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m. and will run again once, from 11:30 p.m.-4 a.m.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Emirates Airline US Open Series, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
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