Weeks after being bought by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Tennis Channel Monday said it has secured all pay-TV rights to the upcoming Roland Garros tournament, better known as the French Open.
The network will now offer televise 80% of all live, televised Roland Garros competition, which begins May 22, after it added match blocks that it had sublicensed to ESPN for the first nine years of its rights agreement with the tournament, according to network officials.
With the deal, which runs through 2023, the channel will increase its coverage of the Grand Slam tournament by 50 hours to 110 beginning this May.
Overall, Tennis Channel will devote approximately 315 hours of mostly round-the-clock airtime to the tournament during the May 22-June 5 event, which does not include preview shows and additional match encores in the respective weeks before and after the tournament.
The acqusition further boosts the network's coverage of the sport's four major tournaments. The network, which was bought eariler this month by Sinclair Broadcast Group for $350 million, has TV rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open) and Australian Open as well as top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup.
"Tennis Channel's partnership with Roland Garros, our first major, has evolved to the point where this year we'll be the streamlined on-air and online place to find the bulk of the competition," said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel in a statement. "This is a significant initiative for our network: this year's Paris coverage will offer more live hours, outer-court encores, nightly replays and a schedule with complete 24-hour coverage on majority of the fortnight. Roland Garros is in the process of expanding, with new facilities, widened tournament grounds, increased TV-court access and other updated amenities. We're in this for the long term and are scaling our coverage right there with them."