The Tennis Channel is closing 2004 by rushing the distribution net.
Network executives said the service, which supplied over 2,400 hours of tournament coverage from 41 of the top 50 WTA (women’s), ATP (men’s) and ITF (Davis, Fed and Hopman Cup series) events in 2004, will launch on 42 systems owned by a number of operators in November and December.
Most of the rollouts have or will occur on systems owned by Adelphia Communications Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. According to Tennis Channel, Adelphia systems in California (Oxnard, Carlbad), Connecticut (Seymore, Norwhich), Kentucky (Owensboro, Richmond), Massachusetts (Plymouth), Maine (Augusta), New Hampshire (Londonderry), New York (Buffalo) and Vermont (Burlington) are or will be home to the network by year’s end.
As for Cox, that MSO has or will roll out Tennis in systems situated in Arkansas (Morrilton, Russellville, Jonesboro); Florida (Gainesville); North Carolina (Greenville, Rocky Mount, New Bern, Kinston and Washington/Williamston); New Mexico (Clovis); Texas (Amarillo, Lubbock, Georgetown, Plainview, Midland, Andrews, Big Spring, San Angelo, Abilene, Sweetwater and Bryan); and Viriginia (Roanoke and Hampton Roads).
In addition, Tennis is connecting on systems owned by Sure West (Sacramento); Starstream Communications (Auburn, Calif.); Knology (Pinellas Park, Fla.); Sunflower Broadband (Lawrence, Kansas); Hutchinson Telecom (Hutchinson, Minn.); Time Warner Cable (Keene, N.H.) and G Force LLX (Aiken, S.C.).
All told, Tennis executives project that the network will be in front of 8 to 10 million households by early 2005.
“As our first full-calendar year comes to a close, we couldn’t be happier with our success to date,” said Tennis chairman and CEO David Meister in a prepared statement. “Tennis fans from Maine to Hawaii and from Florida to Alaska, are watching The Tennis Channel and enjoying the in-depth tournament coverage and unique tennis lifestyle and personality programming.
“We’ve gained unprecedented tournament rights, with so many of the top events in both men’s and women’s tennis, that we are confident that we will continue our growth and delivery of great content in 2005 and beyond,” Meister continued.
In 2004, Tennis inked a number of long-term programming agreements, including a six-year deal with the ITF for the rights to international Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup matches; a four-year deal with the United States Tennis Association for the rights to US Open Series tournaments; a four-year deal with the ATP Masters Series for its European venues and Tennis Masters Cup doubles championships; and a three-year agreements with the WTA Tour for the semifinals and finals at top-tier competitions throughout the year.