ORLANDO, December 20, 2018 (USTA Press Release)
The USTA and Tennis Channel announced on Wednesday an agreement to partner on the construction and operation of a permanent broadcast facility at the USTA National Campus in order to produce live coverage of USTA professional, collegiate, adult and junior level events on a year-round basis. The agreement also grants Tennis Channel the rights to distribute a number of USTA events played in other locations.
The relationship will help to elevate the profile of programming held at the USTA National Campus, giving visibility to the variety of events, initiatives, matches and competitions held throughout the year. In a similar fashion, this partnership will provide Tennis Channel with diverse and original live content for broadcast, with direct access and a behind-the-scenes look at news about both the community and professional sides of the game. The USTA National Campus serves as the national training center for elite American professional and junior players.
As part of the partnership, which runs through 2022, Tennis Channel will air matches and additional programming from USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, College MatchDays and USTA League, Wheelchair and Junior National Championships on linear television, a number of which will take place at the USTA National Campus.
The partnership officially begins this week with Tennis Channel’s live coverage of the USTA’s American Tennis Showcase Thursday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m. ET, a celebration of the sport’s promising stars. Tennis Channel will bring the three-hour showcase to a nationwide audience with longtime network announcer Brett Haber, who will be joined by Hall of Famer Jim Courier and renowned sportscaster Mary Carillo.
“The USTA National Campus was built with the vision that it would be a stage for fans and players alike to engage with many levels of our sport in new and traditional ways,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and CEO. “This partnership with Tennis Channel gives us new, high-quality content with which to reach a wider audience and give fans unique ways to interact with the sport.”
“We’re excited about this evolution in the Tennis Channel-USTA partnership, and the countless opportunities the National Campus provides for growing our sport with audiences of all ages,” said Ken Solomon, President, Tennis Channel. “Having this full-time production presence at Lake Nona is a breakthrough moment for tennis in covering these types of competitions regularly and showcasing the wealth of great tennis that exists throughout the country for the first time ever.”
To assist in production, Tennis Channel is partnering with Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla., to oversee a student-run production model in support of events and year-round reporting from the National Campus. A rotating group of students will work in a variety of areas, giving them a unique hands-on experience in event broadcasting and production.
Earlier this year, Tennis Channel aired five College MatchDays between top NCAA Division I programs from the National Campus, the first live college tennis series in Tennis Channel’s history. In addition, multiple USTA Pro Circuit and Junior tennis matches were shown in 2018 on Tennis Channel.
Additionally, Tennis Channel will have access to the USTA footage library, which includes archival US Open content, as well as select footage from US Open Series events.