DirecTVwill expand its interactive-sports programming this year with an unprecedented sweep of all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, beginning with the Australian Open on Sunday.
Integrating its interactive services with ESPN2 and Tennis Channel broadcasts, DirecTV, for the first time, will offer expanded coverage of the Australian Open, featuring its six-screens-in-one Mix Channel and a host of other interactive features during the first eight days of the tournament from Melbourne Park. And for the first time, the interactive application, the Mix Channel and the five court channels will be in HD.
“We are aggressively ramping up our interactive coverage of major tennis and golf events in 2009,” Eric Shanks, executive vice president of DirecTV Entertainment, said in a prepared statement. “Tennis and golf fans are unique because they actively participate in their sport and that drives their passion for major tournaments like the Australian Open. Our interactive, expanded coverage is designed for them and makes DirecTV a must-have if you’re a fan and an active tennis player or golfer.”
The Mix Channel will offer, on a single screen, the network channel and five court channels with live coverage tuneable to full screen via remote. Each channel will feature natural sound and commentary from tennis experts and former touring pros including Jeff Tarango and Doug Adler.
An interactive application menu will be available via the red button on the remote on each event channel. Menu items include: MatchGuide – provides a convenient view of the score of the current match on each court channel; Recent Results – offers real-time scoring of in-progress, completed and upcoming singles matches; Women’s Draw and Men’s Draw – provides the complete draw from first to final round, along with scores; Tune To – enables viewers to tune directly to the Mix Channel or to the network channel. For more details on the application and its features, visit directv.com.
And in a first for any tennis tournament, all live Australian Open coverage on ESPN2 and Tennis Channel throughout the tournament will be accompanied by access to the Results and Draw features.
Australian Open coverage airs on channels 701-707 on each of the first eight days of the tournament starting at 7 p.m.
DirecTV will also offer interactive services for ESPN and Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open tournaments this year, completing the Grand Slam – all compliments of DIRECTV.