Network will Have More Than 30 Live, Nearly 200 Total Hours of Australian Open Coverage with Carillo, Courier, Navratilova, Davenport, Macatee, Gimelstob, Annacone, Haber and Wertheim Returning to Melbourne for the Year’s First Slam
Boy’s and Girl’s Junior Finals Join Live Slate
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9, 2018 – In its 11th year of Australian Open coverage, Tennis Channel has expanded to 13 days of live matches in Melbourne. This year, for the first time, the network will have a live telecast on the second Friday of the tournament when it broadcasts the boy’s and girl’s junior singles championships. Tennis Channel has boosted its live action at the first Grand Slam of 2018 to more than 30 hours. Coverage from Australia begins on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m. ET, and runs through Jan. 28.
In addition to having live coverage during the first 13 days of the tournament, the network will have encore matches, a live lead-in show and studio analysis. In all Tennis Channel will offer 200 total hours in Melbourne.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 15, Tennis Channel will have 10 straight days of live primetime play starting at 7 p.m. ET (complete schedule follows). The network will broadcast singles matches from the first round through the quarterfinals as well as men’s, women’s and mixed-doubles play, including the final for all three. Additionally, Tennis Channel will have the finals for the boy’s and girl’s junior championships. The network will also air same-day encore coverage of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals. Since its first year of Australian Open coverage in 2008, Tennis Channel has shown all five of the tournament’s finals: men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles.
Tennis Channel will run daily encore match coverage, with daylong blocks of matches most days. Premiering Monday, Jan. 15, from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., encore match coverage will run every day of the tournament (complete schedule follows). The channel will air 90 hours of first-run encores in 2018.
The network’s lead-in show, Tennis Channel Live at the Australian Open, will debut Sunday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m. ET. The program will air nearly every night (in the United States – morning in Australia) of the tournament and give viewers a review of the previous day’s action and preview of the upcoming matches that night. Award-winning broadcaster Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) returns as host alongside analysts and Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina) and Jim Courier, as well as Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim). The team will break down the action and storylines from the tournament while speaking with guests and showcasing reports and features from Melbourne. The show is scheduled to air nightly from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14-Wednesday Jan. 24, with two final shows at 10 p.m.-11 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25, and at 11 p.m.-12 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28.
The first edition of Tennis Channel Live at the Australian Open will bounce between Haber, Navratilova, Courier and Wertheim in Melbourne and the network’s Los Angeles studio with host Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman), Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), Leif Shiras (@LShirock) and Mark Knowles (@knowlzee10s). The final episode will also be based in Los Angeles.
Just ahead of the Australian Open, Racquet Bracket: Australian Open returns on Friday, Jan. 12, from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.; with replay telecasts during the next two days prior to the start of the tournament. Racquet Bracket: Australian Open will feature the network’s Los Angeles team (Weissman, Austin, Shiras and Knowles) who will offer expert opinions on what fans can expect to see play out the next two weeks in Melbourne.
Tennis Channel and ESPN’s ongoing Grand Slam alliance includes the Australian Open and gives viewers near round-the-clock tournament enjoyment from Melbourne. Each network utilizes its own commentators during its respective coverage and cross-promotes the combined ESPN-Tennis Channel television offerings.
Australian Open On-Air Talent
Following her debut at Australia for the network last year, Mary Carillo will once again present special features in her Mary in Melbourne segments, which will appear during Tennis Channel Live at the Australian Open. As always, Carillo will bring her signature style and humor while offering viewers a new look at some of Melbourne’s more hidden gems.
Widely considered one of the best tennis players of all time, Navratilova will return for her 11th Australian Open for Tennis Channel. During her career she won 59 Grand Slam titles, 12 of them coming in Australia through singles, doubles and mixed-doubles.
“It’s great Tennis Channel is adding more matches at the Australian Open,” said Navratilova. “There are always so many questions entering into each new season, and I’m looking forward to the young(er) guns asserting themselves on both the men’s and women’s side.”
Navratilova will be joined by fellow Hall of Famers and Australian Open champions Courier and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76). Courier won two straight from 1992-93, becoming the first American man to win back-to-back titles in Australia, a feat later matched by Andre Agassi. Davenport won the singles title in 2000 and has appeared in seven other Australian Open finals across singles and doubles. Courier will be a part of Tennis Channel Live at the Australian Open, while Davenport will add match commentary throughout the network’s two-week coverage.
Justin Gimelstob will also return for his 11th straight Australian Open for Tennis Channel. In 1998 Gimelstob and Venus Williams won the Australian Open mixed-doubles crown. More recently he coached American star John Isner and remains active in the sport as an ATP board representative.
Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), the legendary former coach of two of tennis’ all-time greats in Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, is back for another year of Australian Open analysis. He won the 1985 Australian Open doubles title with David Wheaton.
Including Austin in Los Angeles, Tennis Channel’s roster of former players that are a part of its Australian Open coverage team combined to win 16 Australian Open championships and 74 major titles.
Announcer Bill Macatee (@BMacatee), will appear for his 11th year on Tennis Channel as well – joining Navratilova and Gimelstob with this distinction – again as lead broadcaster in 2018. Haber, a host and announcer for the network throughout the year, will host Tennis Channel Live at the Australian Open, and work as a play-by-play announcer during various matches. Wertheim returns for his sixth straight Australian Open with Tennis Channel as its on-site Grand Slam reporter. Known for his reports, news updates and round-table commentary, he is also one of the sport’s most well read and trusted reporters, whose weekly column is considered a necessary read for any tennis fan (http://www.si.com/vault-authors/l-jon-wertheim).
This year, Tennis Channel will feature expanded digital coverage with exclusive content on www.tennis.com, www.baseline.tennis.com, www.tennischannel.com and on the network’s social media channels. This will include exclusive stories that will only appear online and not on television. Additionally, there will be digital-only behind-the-scenes content from Tennis Channel talent available during the tournament.
Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, has live Australian Open Qualifiers beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. ET. Viewers can find Tennis Channel Plus on the Tennis Channel Everywhere app, which is available to all Apple and Android users as well as Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Roku owners, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to Tennis Channel.
Fans can take Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Australian Open with them via the network’s free app, Tennis Channel Everywhere. Through subscription authentication viewers can access the app’s TV everywhere function and watch the network’s round-the-clock coverage from Melbourne throughout the workday back in the United States.
Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com, has fans covered on the latest from Down Under with video highlights, interviews, real-time scoring, an interactive draw and the network’s Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game. Visitors can enter the channel’s 2019 Australian Open sweepstakes, or read Australian Open specific columns from reporters Steve Flink (@sflinko) and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker). The channel’s social media activities on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel) will also be devoted to the first tennis major of 2018 for much of this month.
Tennis Channel’s Australian Open encore match coverage includes same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals as well as the men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):
Thursday, Jan. 25 – 6 a.m.-2 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
5 p.m.-10 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals
Friday, Jan. 26 – 6 a.m.-10 a.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
5 p.m.- 9 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
1 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: women’s semifinal
Saturday, Jan. 27 – 5 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s final
Sunday, Jan. 28 – 5 p.m.-8 p.m.: men’s final
Tennis Channel’s Encore Schedule (all times ET)
Tennis Channel brings viewers encore match coverage, interviews and a general review of everything that happened each day of the tournament – which is played at night in America. The first eight days begin at 7 a.m. ET before, starting with the second Tuesday, the show will begin at 6 a.m.
Encores will air from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on the first Monday of the event. A similar schedule will follow over the next four days, Tuesday, Jan. 16, through Friday, Jan. 19, with the show running from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 20, encore coverage will run from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., and again from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, they air from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and later from 1p.m.-6 p.m. On Monday, Jan. 22, matches will air from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. The next two days, Tuesday, Jan. 23, and Wednesday, Jan. 24, coverage will be on from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, marks the final daylong block of coverage, when it is on from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. and later from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The final three days of the tournament will offer encore coverage from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26. Saturday, Jan. 27, will show the women’s final from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 28, will air the men’s final from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Encore telecasts of the women’s and men’s finals will air in primetime and throughout the night on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com), which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, 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 at the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, ATP World Tour events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI)
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Pro forma for the Tribune acquisition (before any related divestitures) the Company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 television stations in 108 markets. The Company has multiple emerging networks as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and a producer of live sports content. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, firstname.lastname@example.org, @TennisChannelPRJohn Iatesta, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9487, email@example.com