LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2016 –Tennis Channel will offer the most comprehensive French Open coverage in television history during its 10th year in Paris, underway May 22-June 5. With close to 80 percent of all live French Open hours on television this year, 15 days of action from first ball through championship point, seven days of exclusive on-air coverage, 10-hour match windows, late-night encores, and a talent roster that sees Tracy Austin join other Hall of Famers and decorated sportscasters, the network will dedicate more than 325 total hours to the two-week competition, with another 500 hours available digitally.
New in 2016, Tennis Channel is expanding its total live match hours at Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) to 110, up from around 65 live hours last spring. This will create an exclusive, 10-hour window of daily live play for almost half the tournament, immediately followed by encore matches throughout the night and up to the start of the next day’s competition. Coverage this year will run from the first point of opening day through the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and mixed-doubles championship – expanding to include all men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals Also new, Tennis Channel will add outer-court matches to its encore lineup.
The network is also adding close to 100 hours of Roland Garros qualifying matches on air and on digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus this week, as contenders battle for position in the tournament’s main draw. This is the first time that Tennis Channel has shown qualifying matches at any of tennis’ four major competitions. This week live matches begin at 4 a.m. ET on Tennis Channel Plus every morning, with same-day delayed coverage on air beginning Tuesday, May 17, at 1 p.m. ET. Roland Garros qualifying matches this year feature several Americans, among them Melanie Oudin, Ryan Harrison and Frances Tiafoe.
This year Tennis Channel’s typical Roland Garros schedule begins with live matches from 5 a.m. ET to approximately 3 p.m. ET, when play concludes with nightfall in Paris. From 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. ET, the network will show encore matches from the day, with the last four hours dedicated to the above-mentioned tournament outer courts.
Hour-long lead-in show Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros will introduce each day’s competition on Sunday, May 22, and again from Tuesday, May 31, through the final day of play, Sunday, June 5. This Saturday, May 21, a special edition of Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros will air from the stadium grounds at 12 p.m. ET, with a look at the scenarios in play as tennis’ clay-court season approaches its pinnacle. Also this week, with the release of the Roland Garros tournament draw Friday, May 20, Tennis Channel’s Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros will air live from the network’s Los Angeles studio at 8 p.m. ET and analyze the matchups and potential outcomes. (Hosts for Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros and Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros are referenced below.)
Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) will be an analyst in Paris for the first time in 2016, after having been a Tennis Channel regular for years at other events throughout the season. Austin, who reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals in 1982 and 1983, remains the youngest player to ever win a WTA Tour event, claiming a title in Portland at 14 years and 28 days of age in 1977. She is known for winning the US Open at age 16 in 1979, and again in 1981.
“I’m excited to be with Tennis Channel in Paris this year as we see how the French Open plays out,” said Austin. “There are so many great storylines heading into the tournament again this year. Does Serena Williams tie Steffi Graf’s major singles record? Is this the year Novak Djokovic is able to win Roland Garros? It should be two weeks of great tennis.”
Fellow Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina), Jim Courier and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) will share analysts’ duties with Austin during Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros telecast. Navratilova has been on air at every major covered by the network, going back to its first Roland Garros in 2007. As a player at Roland Garros, she won two singles (1982, 1984), seven doubles (1975, 1982, 1984-1988) and two mixed-doubles (1991-1992) championships. Courier also won the Roland Garros singles title more than once as a player, lifting the Coupe de Mousquetaires trophy in 1991-1992. He joined Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros team in 2014. Not to be outdone, Davenport won the mixed-doubles title in Paris in 1996, and is in her seventh year in Paris for the network.
Analyst Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) won the Roland Garros mixed-doubles championship in 1998 and is one of the most insightful young voices in televised tennis. Active in numerous industry endeavors, including his role as a player representative on the ATP board of directors, he is a regular contributor during Tennis Channel’s coverage throughout the year. Like Navratilova, Gimelstob has been a part of every major televised by the network. Former player Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) is renowned for his coaching success with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, two players in the conversation for greatest of all time. Back for his third year as a network analyst in Paris, he reached the doubles quarterfinals at the tournament in 1985.
Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros play-by-play unit features a lineup of award-winning announcers known for their work across the pantheon of college, professional and Olympic sports. Bill Macatee (@Bmacatee) is in his 10th year with Tennis Channel in Paris and, likeNavratilova and Gimelstob, has been part of the on-air team at every major telecast in network history.
Likewise, Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle are celebrating a decade in Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros booth this year. Each has covered a variety of the most high-profile competitions in sports, and today can be heard calling everything from The Masters and NFL football to the Olympics and college basketball for a range of networks.
No stranger to the Olympics, Mary Carillo is back for her sixth Roland Garros with Tennis Channel. The award-winning host and sportscaster, who won the tournament’s mixed-doubles crown in 1977, is widely respected for her pleasant humor and unvarnished approach to sports journalism – whether covering tennis or the Olympics, or developing Peabody Award-winning documentaries. Another former player, Leif Shiras, joins Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros play-by-play team for the ninth time, and has been a broadcaster in the sport for more than 20 years.
Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) have won numerous sportscasting awards and have covered a variety of sports at both the national-network and local-station levels. Haber, who has led sports direction at stations in New York and Washington, D.C., is back for his fifth year on Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros team, while this is Weissman’s first year in Paris with the network.
Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer John Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) returns for his fifth Roland Garros as Tennis Channel’s on-air essayist and reporter. Wertheim, who will also offer opinion and background in addition to special segments, authors Sports Illustrated’s “Tennis Mailbag” column, regarded as essential reading by many of the sport’s diehard fans.
Before departing for France, Weissman, Austin and Annacone will appear in a special Roland Garros preview on Tuesday, May 17, in Los Angeles, and be joined by former player James Blake (@JRBlake). Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros on Friday, May 20, will be hosted by longtime sportscaster Russ Thaler (@RussThaler) and feature former players Mark Knowles (@knowlzee10s) and Corina Morariu. The first editions of
Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros in Paris will feature Haber, Davenport, Gimelstob and Wertheim.
Broadband and Digital Coverage
The network’s Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service will offer live and on-demand matches during Roland Garros, adding another 450 hours to Tennis Channel’s on-air coverage. Subscribers will be able to choose from five different courts on the first Sunday through second Monday of the event, four courts on both Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week, and three each on the second Thursday and Friday of the competition. All Tennis Channel Plus matches will be available for on-demand viewing following their conclusion, in addition to both singles championships.
Tennis Channel Plus is also adding 50 hours of live tournament-qualifying matches during the week leading into Roland Garros, beginning Monday, May 17, and running through Saturday, May 21, on the eve of the competition. Housed on the network’s
Tennis Channel Everywhere app and online, Tennis Channel Plus is available to everyone in the United States, regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel.
The Tennis Channel Everywhere app is free to all Apple and Android users and features videos, highlights and tennis updates. The app can be accessed on Apple TV, Roku TV and Amazon Fire devices as well. Most users who also subscribe to Tennis Channel are able watch the network whenever and wherever they want through the app at no extra charge.
Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com, will provide real-time scoring, interactive tournament draws, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from the network’s on-air Roland Garros coverage. As in years past, longtime tennis reporters Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) and Steve Flink will post columns on the website as the tournament progresses in Paris.
Social media users can remain engaged with Tennis Channel on numerous platforms during Roland Garros, including: Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel), Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/tennischannel).
Tennis Channel’s Live 2016 French Open Coverage
Date Time (ET) Event
Sunday, May 22 4 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Monday, May 23 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 24 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 25 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 26 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action
Friday, May 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Third-Round Action
Saturday, May 28 5 a.m.-Noon Third-Round Action
Sunday, May 29 5 a.m.-Noon Round-of-16 Action
Monday, May 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Round-of-16 Action
Tuesday, May 31 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 1 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 2 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Mixed Doubles Final,
Women’s Singles Semifinals
Friday, June 3 6 a.m.-11 a.m. Men’s Singles Semifinal
Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros encore match telecasts include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, and men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):
Tuesday, May 31 – 1 p.m.-1 a.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 1 – 1 p.m.-1 a.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals
Thursday, June 2 – 6 p.m.-11 a.m.: women’s singles semifinals
Friday, June 3 – 5 p.m.-8 a.m.: men’s singles semifinals
Saturday, June 4 – 2 p.m.-6 p.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m., 1:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: women’s singles final; 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight, 3:30 a.m.-6 a.m.: men’s doubles final
Sunday, June 5 – 2 p.m.-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-11 p.m.: men’s singles final;
5 p.m.-8 p.m.: women’s doubles final
(Following the tournament, additional encores will air during the week of June 6.)