Tennis Channel has agreed to multi-year extensions with the ATP World Tour (tennis’ governing body) and ATP Media (tour’s broadcast arm), ensuring the network of exclusive broadcast rights to 21 ATP Tour stops (Masters 1000 & 500 events) and the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals (non-exclusive). Matches will air on the linear cable network and via authenticated digital stream on Tennis Channels’ affiliated OTT service, Tennis Channel Plus (for the 1st time); combined they’ll carry every round of all but a handful of men’s tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami & Nitto ATP Finals). Under the terms of the new deal, Tennis Channel will be granted expanded video-on-demand rights and increased network access to classic matches. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Howie Long-Short: Tennis Channel is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc (SBGI). Sinclair is awaiting the Department of Justice’s approval on its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media (and their 42 television stations). Should the deal be approved (it likely will be, though SBGI may be forced to sell a few stations to comply with FCC rules) SBGI would own channels in 233 networks in over 100 markets (in an unprecedented 72% of the country). Back on November 1st, the company reported Q3 net income fell 39.7% (to $30.6 million); hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a loss of certain technical school advertisers and one-time acquisition related charges (see: Bonten Media) blamed for the negative differential. The company is expected to report Q4 ’17 and full-year ’17 earnings on February 28.
Fan Marino: Fans in NYC will get to see Serena Williams live as she plans to participate in March’s Tie Break Tens tournament, the first of its kind in the U.S. The short-form one-day knockout tournament (each match is a super tie-break to 10 points) will be held at Madison Square Garden. 8 competitors will participate, including Serena’s older sister Venus Williams.
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