Rights to ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 Events, and Nitto ATP Finals Renewed for Television and Expanded to Include Live Streaming Coverage
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12, 2018 – Tennis Channel will continue to carry top-level men’s tennis under an extension of its rights agreement with the ATP World Tour (the governing body of men’s professional tennis) and the tour’s broadcast arm ATP Media. Twenty-one ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 events, along with the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, will appear on the network and via authenticated digital streams under the multiyear deal.
For the first time in the media partnership, Tennis Channel will have live, over-the-top (OTT) streaming rights to Masters 1000 and 500 events, which the network will offer on its digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus, beginning today (excluding events in Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami). Also new are expanded video-on-demand rights and increased network access to classic matches and clips from ATP Media’s extensive archive.
As a result of the agreement, the combination of Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will offer live coverage of every round of all but three men’s tournaments within the partnership (Indian Wells, Miami, Nitto ATP Finals – see full tournament list below).
“We’re pleased that Tennis Channel will show the world’s best tennis for years to come,” said Lawrence Randall, executive director, programming, Tennis Channel. “Since our first season on air we’ve worked with the ATP to offer year-round, in-depth exposure to these dramatic events – something that hadn’t existed previously. Our viewers have grown to rely on Tennis Channel for the best tennis throughout the year.”
Since its launch in 2003, Tennis Channel has covered more ATP World Tour tournaments annually than all other U.S. broadcasters combined.
Mark Webster, CEO, ATP Media, said, “Tennis Channel continues to be a highly valued broadcast partner of ATP Media and we are delighted to be able to not only extend our existing agreement with them, but also expand the scope of their rights to allow even more live tennis to be seen across the U.S. via Tennis Channel’s exciting new Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service.”
From early February to late November, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 tournaments showcase the planet’s greatest tennis players, and last year represented more than 600 live matches and more than 1,000 hours of Tennis Channel programming. Next to the sport’s four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) these events make up the most important in tennis in terms of prestige, competition, attendance and prize money. Featuring some of the most prominent tennis events in the world, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and 500 competitions will be available to all Tennis Channel Plus subscribers regardless of whether they have Tennis Channel at home (with the exception of events in Indian Wells and Miami; the network’s Nitto ATP Finals are also limited to television and authenticated streaming). They join an over-the-top streaming lineup that already covers 20 other tournaments, including the French Open.
“This extension more than doubles our tournament lineup on Tennis Channel Plus and gives subscribers a more comprehensive live tennis schedule throughout the year,” said Adam Ware, senior vice president, head of digital and new business development, Tennis Channel. “In the almost four years since introducing our premium OTT service, we’ve been committed to steadily growing the platform and giving tennis fans more of what they want live and on demand, and this is a significant step toward that mission.”
Chris Kermode, chairman and president, ATP, said, “Tennis Channel has been an important media partner to the ATP World Tour for many years now, and we’re delighted to enter this new and expanded agreement which will give tennis fans in the U.S. the opportunity to watch more ATP World Tour tennis on Tennis Channel’s linear and digital broadcasts than ever before.”
The 22 tournaments in the rights renewal consist of nine Masters 1000 events, 12 ATP World Tour 500 events and the year-end Nitto ATP Finals. The Masters 1000-level tournaments are the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells), Miami Open presented by Itaú (Miami), Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Monaco), Mutua Madrid Open (Madrid, Spain), Internazionali BNL d’Italia (Rome), Rogers Cup (Montreal/Toronto), Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati), Shanghai Rolex Masters (Shanghai) and Rolex Paris Masters (Paris).
The ATP World Tour 500 tournaments are the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Rio Open presented by Claro (Rio de Janeiro), Abierto Mexicano Telcel presented by HSBC (Acapulco, Mexico), Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Barcelona Open BancSabadell (Barcelona, Spain), Gerry Weber Open (Halle, Germany), The Queen’s Club Championships (London), German Tennis Championships 2018 (Hamburg, Germany), China Open (Beijing), Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo), Swiss Indoors Basel (Basel, Switzerland) and Erste Bank Open 500 (Vienna). A 13th 500-level event, the Citi Open (Washington), is carried exclusively by Tennis Channel via a separate television and streaming rights agreement with the tournament.
Tennis Channel will continue to be the exclusive television home for all tournaments other than those in Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and the Nitto ATP Finals.