Time Warner Cable Scores U.S. Open Sponsorship

MSO to Have Major On-Site Presence at Grand Slam Event

Time Warner Cable has netted a multiyear sponsorship of the U.S. Open tennis championships.

The nation’s No. 2 cable operator inked a pact, financial terms of which were not disclosed, with the tourney’s administrator, the United States Tennis Association, calling for an array of on-site activities at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, as well as off-court exposure.

The MSO’s partnership includes advertising across select U.S. Open platforms and properties.

The on-site activation begins Aug. 25 on Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, when Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” through its STEM in Sports campaign, will be supporting the “STEM in Tennis” station. There, participants can explore some of the individual components of a winning tennis shot, as well as the math and science behind them. 

During the tournament that runs from Aug. 26 through Sept. 9, the MSO will house the "Time Warner Cable Experience," a venue where Open attendees will find a video wall, with coverage of six courts supplied by FanVision’s multichannel network. In addition to the video wall, the Time Warner Cable Experience will display the operator’s digital -able, high-speed Internet, home phone, and IntelligentHome products and services, and feature appearances from former tennis greats, a special umpire chair photo opportunity and electronics charging stations, among other amenities.    

The first 500 Time Warner Cable customers daily will gain free access to the FanVision streaming device that enhances the fan experience through in-depth video, up-to-date data and live audio coverage. FanVision allows users to follow their favorite players with custom alerts, live score updates, match stats, and additional features. Tennis fans can rent the device at multiple locations throughout the grounds or reserve their unit in advance online at usopen.org.

Time Warner Cable will also gain exposure through on and off the court signage, including branding on the umpires chairs, in Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadiums, which could result in the MSO’s logo appearing on CBS’s telecasts of the Grand Slam event. CBS begins its 36 hours of Open coverage on Aug. 31.  National cable service CBS Sports Network will air different third- and fourth-round actions in CBS’s concurrent windows on Labor Day weekend..

Thirteen of the broadcaster’s stations reaching 3 million of the MSO’s customers in eight markets, including Los Angeles, Dallas and in New York, have been blacked out on Time Warner Cable systems since Aug. 2 in a retransmission-consent dispute. In addition, CBS-owned cable properties Showtime, TMC, Flick and Smithsonian have been dark across TWC’s national footprint. CBS Sports Network has not been impacted by the parties' carriage contretemps.

Time Warner Cable is also picking up Tennis Channel’s freeview of the Open and making it available to its digital subscribers in the markets where the CBS stations are off the air, as well as in areas served by Journal Broadcast Group stations that are also dark on the MSO’s systems.