Tennis Channel will be Live in Paris as 2021 French Open Features Night Sessions for First Time

published: May, 27, 2021

by: TC Staff

First Held in 1891, World’s Most Prestigious Clay-Court Event Enters New Era,
will Showcase High-Profile Evening Matches this Year,
Starting at 9 p.m. Locally/3 p.m. ET in the United States
Network to Offer Coverage all 15 Days and at Least 10 Hours of Live Matches Daily
for 10 Days of the Event, 340 Total TV Hours, and 1,500 Additional Hours on Streaming Service Tennis Channel Plus
LOS ANGELES, May 25, 2021 – For the first time since its founding in 1891, the French Open will feature night sessions this year – and Tennis Channel will bring them live to U.S. audiences. The network’s daily coverage of the 15-day major, the most prestigious clay-court event in tennis, begins on the opening day of play Sunday, May 30, at 5 a.m. ET, and runs through Championship Sunday, June 13. On Monday, May 31, as Americans are celebrating Memorial Day, tennis fans will see history on the network at 3 p.m. ET, when one of the most tradition-rich venues in all of sports introduces nighttime tennis to the celebrated grounds of Stade Roland Garros in Paris. It will be the first of seven night sessions on the channel – Monday-Friday, May 31-June 4; Tuesday and Wednesday, June 8-9.
Tennis Channel will provide 340 total hours of television coverage during its 15th year at the French Open (also known as Roland Garros). In addition to more than 140 hours of live matches, the network will show another 190-plus hours of encore replays and four-and-a-half hours of news-and-analysis show Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros. Most days will feature at least 10 hours of live matches running from the start of play at 5 a.m. ET through the last match on the schedule, followed immediately by all-night encores until 5 a.m. ET the following morning (complete schedule below).
The network will show live matches from the first round through the girls’ and boys’ singles finals championship weekend, covering the men’s and women’s singles finals along the way. The women’s and men’s singles finals championship weekend will air as same-day encores as well.
Streaming service Tennis Channel Plus will offer 16 French Open courts this year, approximately 600 matches, with the opportunity for viewers to choose the competitions they want to watch. Fans can access around 1,500 streamed hours of live play at Roland Garros this year on Tennis Channel Plus.
For the second-consecutive year, the newly rebranded Bally Sports regional networks, owned by Tennis Channel parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group, will have the opportunity to share live French Open coverage with their viewers. From Sunday, May 30, to Monday, June 7, these networks will have access to an exclusive feed of matches in Paris, from 8 a.m.-noon ET, and will promote the competition in an effort to expand its U.S. viewership.
Tennis Channel has covered the French Open live from Paris since 2007, including the 2020 tournament, postponed from May to September due the global pandemic. During that event the network was the only broadcaster not based in France to send a production team and on-air talent to Stade Roland Garros.
On-Air Talent
Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova (@Martina) returns to Paris for her 15th French Open with Tennis Channel this year. Navratilova has appeared at every major tournament televised by the channel, and is more than familiar with success at Roland Garros. She captured 11 championships there while on the professional tour, among them two singles (1982, 1984), seven doubles (1975, 1982, 1984-1988) and two mixed doubles (1991-1992). Jim Courier, also in the Hall of Fame, is taking part in his eighth French Open as a Tennis Channel analyst. Courier won consecutive singles championships in the City of Light in 1991-1992. Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) completes the network’s Hall of Fame analyst trio and is in her 12th year as part of the on-air team in France. Davenport won the tournament’s 1996 mixed-doubles competition.
Analyst Chanda Rubin (@Chanda_Rubin) will provide insight for her fourth French Open with Tennis Channel. In 1996 she won the Australian Open doubles championship. Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) won the 1985 Australian Open doubles title and is known for guiding legends like Pete Sampras and Roger Federer to major titles of their own. This will be his eighth year of offering commentary at the French Open for Tennis Channel. Mark Knowles (@Knowlzee10s), who won the 2007 French Open doubles crown, is back in Paris for his second time as part of the on-air team.
The network’s Roland Garros roster of announcers includes Emmy Award-winning veterans Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) and Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), in their 15th and 10th years for the channel, respectively. It also includes former players Leif Shiras (@leifshiras), Jason Goodall and Robbie Koenig (@RobKoenigTennis). Shiras will take part in is 13th French Open for the network, while Goodall and Koenig are joining the team in Paris for the first time this year.
Award-winning announcer Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) will host Tennis Channel’s French Open desk in 2021, his fifth year in Paris with the network. Jon Wertheim (jon_wertheim) is well regarded as an author, Sports Illustrated journalist and CBS’ 60 Minutes correspondent. He will return as a reporter, essayist and analyst for the 10th time.
Digital Coverage
Tennis Channel will unveil a new Tennis.com website and complementary app on the eve of the French Open that will be unlike any digital tennis platform in existence today. Users will have access to live matches embedded in scoreboards, a comprehensive tennis calendar that covers multiple tours, rankings, personalization features, gaming and a first-of-its-kind estimated-match-start-times function. Anyone in the world can access the site, Tennis.com, or download the new Tennis.com app on iOS or Android platforms.
The revamped site will be home to three new digital series: You Should Know, hosted by Wertheim; Prakash Worldwide, with network analyst and international travel reporter Prakash Amritraj; and Credentialed, featuring different player and former player hosts throughout the year, beginning with retired player Daniela Hantuchova and active player Mischa Zverev at the French Open next week. It will also host a fantasy tennis game during Roland Garros, and make it available at other times of the year.
Tennis Channel Plus, with close to 1,500 streamed hours from 600 matches on 16 courts this year, is available to all fans in the United States, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to the linear television network. Viewers can access the streaming service at www.tennischanneleverywhere.com/subscribe.
Date                                       Time (ET)                 Event
Sunday, May 30                     5 a.m.-3 p.m.              First Round
Monday, May 31                   5 a.m.-6 p.m.              First Round
Tuesday, June 1                     5 a.m.-6 p.m.              First Round
Wednesday, June 2                5 a.m.-6 p.m.              Second Round
Thursday, June 3                    5 a.m.-6 p.m.              Second Round
Friday, June 4                        5 a.m.-6 p.m.              Third Round
Saturday, June 5                     5 a.m.-3 p.m.              Third Round
Sunday, June 6                       5 a.m.-12 p.m.            Round of 16
Monday, June 7                     5 a.m.-3 p.m.              Round of 16
Tuesday, June 8                     6 a.m.-6:30 p.m.         Quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 9                5 a.m.-5:30 p.m.         Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 10                  8 a.m.-2 p.m.              Women’s Singles Semifinals
Friday, June 11                      8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.         Men’s Singles Semifinals
Saturday, June 12                   5 a.m.-9 a.m.              Girls’ and Boys’ Singles Finals
The network will show same-day encore coverage of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals championship weekend (all times ET):
Saturday, June 12 – 1 p.m.: women’s singles final, men’s doubles final (and again at 6 p.m.)
Sunday, June 13 – 2 p.m.: men’s singles final; 6 p.m.: men’s singles final, women’s doubles final.
TC Staff

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