After serving up a free mobile app during its coverage of the French Open this May and June, Tennis Channel is jumping into the TV Everywhere game with Verizon FiOS TV and the National Cable Television Cooperative, beginning with the 2013 U.S. Open.
Tennis Channel is launching its initial TV Everywhere application with authenticated subscribers to the telco’s and the coop’s video services, who will be able to access the network’s linear stream on computers, tablets and mobile devices. Network officials expect other distributors to be on Tennis’ side of the TV Everywhere net in the fourth quarter.
Verizon FiOS TV users can log on through the My Verizon online portal, while NCTC has added Tennis Channel to its WatchTVEverywhere authentication system. Moreover, authorized Verizon and co-op subs can view Tennis’ linear stream after signing onto the new authentication feature on the Tennis Channel Everywhere app. Tennis launched that app during its coverage of the 2013 French Open as users were able to watch match coverage from Roland Garros. Subsequently, the app has been home to highlights and other Tennis content, but not the network’s linear feed.
“For the first time in history, fans now have 24-hour, mobile access to the only television network that covers 85 percent of an entire sport, and every one of tennis’ top 100 tournaments, including all four majors,” said Patrick Wilson, senior vice president, distribution, Tennis Channel. “When we launched our Tennis Channel Everywhere app this spring we made clear that we wanted to work with our distribution partners to bring an authenticated linear stream to their subscribers as soon as possible. Thanks to Verizon FiOS TV and NCTC, today we’ve taken those first steps, and we look forward to working with others.”
Users can download the Tennis Channel Everywheremobile app for Apple at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id651092377?mt=8 and Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tennischannel.tceverywhere.
Network officials believe that given the sport’s almost year-round schedule, Tennis’ TV Everywhere service will prove popular with its viewers, as the channel's almost daily match coverage often encompassses different tournament locales and time zones.
“FiOS customers who are also zealous tennis fans are obviously going to love the addition of Tennis Channel Everywhere to our online TV lineup and thanks to the efforts of Synacor, they’ll see it first with the U.S. Open,” said Verizon vice president of video content and strategy Terry Denson. “We continue to break the borders of confinement tied to the traditional TV model. This addition, along with other recent content partner adds, brings Verizon’s TV everywhere channel count to 67. And in many ways, we are just getting started so much more to follow.”
During its fifth year of coverage of the Open, which spans from Monday Aug. 26 through Sept. 9, Tennis is scheduled to televise 75 hours of live or first-run match play and 240 overall from the Grand Slam event. This includes exclusive live action from when the first ball is tossed up and through Thursday of the second week; eight-hour match windows the first week; primetime windows on Labor Day weekend; and encores of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles semifinals and finals. The channel will feature lead-in show Live at the US Open each morning, along with nightly news and highlight show US Open Tonight. Early mornings are devoted to Breakfast at the Open, a four-and-a-half-hour primer on the previous evening’s activity and coming day’s events.