Tennis Channel Nets Distribution Deal With AT&T U-verse

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Tennis Channel, filling in a hole in its distribution net, has inked a cross-platform deal with AT&T U-verse.
The dedicated sports service has launched on the telco's channel 660 and on high-definition channel 1660, as part of the popular AT&T U450 package. Tennis is also being made available as part of U-verse's The Sports Package, which features upward of 25 networks, for which customers with lower levels of service can pay an additional $10 monthly.
The telco also said it plans to carry Tennis across AT&T mobile and U-verse online services. Deal terms were not disclosed.
The launch comes in time for Tennis' coverage of the sport's third major from the lawns of Wimbledon, where the network will present some 80 hours of coverage via its Wimbledon Primetime show.
"We're proud to bring the Tennis Channel to AT&T customers. It's a great addition to the U-verse TV channel lineup and our Sports Multiview app," said Dan York, president of content, AT&T, in a statement. "This deal helps us with important strategic content initiatives and gives our U-verse TV customers access to even more exciting sports content, and in thrilling HD."
"AT&T's widely distributed launch of Tennis Channel in the development of their forward-thinking business is further affirmation of the unique value of our pro-sports and lifestyle service," added Tennis senior vice president, distribution Patrick Wilson. "This new agreement illustrates the marriage of the top quality, broad U-verse subscriber base with our network's premium content, as a powerful tool for reaching the most valued audience in television."

Jimmy Connors, who marked his debut with the network with the 2009 U.S. Open, joins Martina Navratilova and host Bill Macatee on Wimbledon Primetime. Shot on an English pub-styled set at the All-England Lawn Tennis Association, Wimbledon Primetime presents news, interviews, the day's best plays, original features, previously unseen matches and coverage from around the tournament grounds. The bulk of the program is dedicated to the most important on-court action of that particular afternoon, utilizing the BBC television coverage and commentary. Macatee and Navratilova have hosted the program since its 2008 inception.

All told, Tennis Channel will televise 40 hours of first-run Wimbledon Primetime for 10 nights at this year's tournament, and another 40 hours of same-night, encore telecasts. The program will premiere each evening from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. (ET) from June 21-30. During the first week, June 21-27, the show's encore presentation will immediately follow its first-run conclusion at 11 p.m. and run through 3 a.m. From June 28-30, the encore showing will air from midnight  through 4 a.m.

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