Tennis Channel has netted a multiyear deal to become the exclusive U.S. TV carrier of all Davis Cup ties.
Terms of the deal with the International Tennis Federation, the sport's governing body, and the United States Tennis Association, were not disclosed. In addition to exclusive U.S. telecast rights, Tennis through a broadband component will make U.S. Davis Cup matches available on demand and in their entirety on its Web site, www.tennischannel.com, posted the day after each competition.
Since 2006, Tennis had partnered with Versus to offer alternating or same-day U.S. Davis Cup coverage.
The Davis Cup pact puts all three ITF annual international team competitions -- Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup -- on Tennis Channel's air in the United States.
Tennis has held multiyear rights to all other ITF team competitions since 2004, including non-U.S. Davis Cup play.
The 2009 Davis Cup play gets underway with the eight world group first-round ties March 6-8, as the United States, which has won the competition a record 32 times, hosts Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala.
Tennis plans to surround its high-definition U.S. Davis Cup coverage with short- and long-form ancillary programming, specials and year-round promotion, building up the team's annual quest for the championship as a long-term franchise for the network
"Davis Cup is to tennis what the World Cup is to soccer or Ryder Cup is to golf, and among the most exciting, dramatic team contests in the world," said Tennis chairman and CEO Ken Solomon in a statement. "Our platform of year-round tennis was built to put into context and drive premium franchises like U.S. Davis Cup. With American tennis' enormous resurgence right now and the country's Australian Open success and thrilling Davis Cup win 14 months ago, the time is ripe for elevating this event on television with HD coverage and promotion throughout the entire calendar, especially during the four Grand Slams."