New Deal Brings USTA’s U.S. Open Beginning In 2015

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tennis fans have some good news today.  ESPN has announced that it has acquired the broadcast rights to the U.S. Open.  The new deal means that the Sports Leader will broadcast the U.S. Open beginning in 2015.  It will be the exclusive home of the U.S. Open both in North and South America.  The deal will keep the tournament on ESPN for eleven years.  It also means that ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will now broadcast three of tennis’ four majors beginning in 2015.

ESPN President John Skipper shared his thoughts on the new deal.  “Certain sporting events become synonymous with when they are held, and there is no better – or bigger – way to celebrate the end of summer than at the US Open in New York,” he said.  We look forward to capturing every match, every star, every championship and all the drama on this grand stage.”

Expectations for the new deal are just as high among those with the United States Tennis Association (USTA).  Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and president commented on the announcement, saying “This wide-ranging and broad relationship with ESPN positions tennis at the forefront of American sports.  By teaming with the world-wide leader in sports, the USTA will continue to ensure that tennis at every level thrives in the United States.”

When the deal takes effect, all matches of the U.S. Open tournament will be available not just on ESPN and ESPN2, but also via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app for those with mobile internet.  Every match of the tournament’s seventeen total courts will also be available on ESPN3.  Anyone that has ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription through Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOs, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter or AT&T U-Verse.

Along with broadcasting the U.S. Open in the United States beginning in 2015, ESPN will continue to be the home of the entire U.S. Open in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on TSN in Canada, as it has done since 2002.  Fans in these countries will benefit from the new deal as it means expanded hours and broadcast rights, just as in the U.S.—both on multiple linear TV channels and on digital platforms throughout each region. 

The new broadcast deal has major implications in the U.S. and Latin and South America, as well as the Caribbean, as noted.  It will have a big impact in the Middle East, too.  Terms of the deal included making ESPN the home of the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series.  Coverage of the series includes seventy-two hours of action in the five-week tournament leading up to the championship.  Terms also have given broadcast rights of the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  The Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is the family friendly music and tennis festival that serves as the unofficial start to the two-week tournament.  It takes place a week prior to the tournament’s official start. 

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MLB, A&E Offer Brewers Fans Reason To Celebrate This Offseason

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The Milwaukee Brewers is one of Major League Baseball’s younger teams.  The team, which was originally started in part by Bud Selig in 1970, has had its share of great moments in its roughly forty-two year history.  Now thanks to MLB Productions and A&E Home Video, the team’s fans and baseball fans alike can enjoy a handful of the team’s greatest moments in the new four-disc box set, The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers

It’s fitting that all four of the games included in this box set are taken from the Brewers’ post season history, as Major League Baseball is currently in its second season.  Now fans yearning for a fresh start next season can enjoy these momentous games in the meantime.  One of the games that fans will enjoy from this set is its matchup against the then California Angels.  The game in question was the teams’ faceoff in Game Five of the 1982 ALCS.  Both teams were tied up at two games each in this best of five series.  So both teams’ fates boiled down to this decisive match.  And both teams showed how bad they wanted it.

Game Five of the 1982 ALCS started off with both the Angels and Brewers bringing in one run a piece.  The next two innings would see only one run scored on the part of the Angels’ catcher, Bob Boone.  Both sides stayed toe to toe in the game’s fourth inning with each one bringing in another run each, bringing the score at that point to 3-2, advantage Angels.  The Brewers’ lone run that inning came after a single run home run by Ben Oglivie.  The fifth and sixth innings would go scoreless on both sides of the ball.  But apparently the legendary seventh inning stretch must have done some magic for the Brewers as Milwaukee would seal the game with two more runs, bringing the Brewers past the Angels, 4-3.  The runs turned out to be the last runs of the game on either side of the ball as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings.  The Brewers’ seventh inning surge started when Don Money hit a pop fly single to first base off of Angels pitcher Luis Sanchez.  Charlie Moore followed up that hit with a single to second base.  Sanchez gave up a single to Center Field against Jim Gantner next, thus allowing Moore to move to second.  Sanchez made up for that sacrifice by striking out future MLB legend Paul Molitor.  But then he walked Robin Yount, loading the bases.  Cecil Cooper’s single to Left Field brought in both Gantner and Moore and moved Yount to second.  These two runs would be the last two for the game, and would be the last scored against Sanchez, as he was replaced on the mound by Andy Hassler.  Hassler struck out Ted Simmons to end the inning.  Hassler wouldn’t be back until the bottom of the eighth inning.  He and the Angels’ fielding unit worked together to keep the bases empty on a quick three up, three down.  Bob McClure and Pete Ladd would finish the game for the Brewers, allowing only one man on base.

The Brewers’ 1982 post season run would see not one but two amazing games for this team that just over a decade prior had been brought in from Seattle of all places.  After the Brewers finished off the Angels in Game Five of the ALCS, they went on to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.  Things got started pretty well for the Brewers in the World Series with Milwaukee taking a decisive Game One win 10-0.  But two straight losses in Games Two and Three put the Brewers’ back somewhat to the wall.  Had the Cards won this game, it would have put the Brewers in a huge three games to one hole.  But the boys weren’t to be counted out just yet.  Despite going down by four runs early on, the Brewers’ offense kept the Cardinals scoreless in the third and fourth innings and finally getting on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Don Money got things started first with a hard hit double.  Charlie Moore followed up with a short fly ball to Center Field.  That hit let Money move to third and into scoring position.  Jim Gantner finished things off with this rush, hitting a ground ball double that sent in Money for the score.  Paul Molitor ended up being taken out on a fly ball to Center Field, ending the inning.

The Cardinals answered the Brewers right back in the top of the sixth inning on doubles by both Lonnie Smith and Dane Iorg.  Iorg’s double brought in Smith, putting the Brewers deep into a 5-1 deficit.  But the Brewers showed that they still had a fire burning as they answered back with six big runs against four different Cardinals pitchers.  Those six runs were all the Brewers needed as they retook the lead 7-5.  The Brewers’ offense came to life in the eighth and ninth, keeping the Cardinals scoreless.  They went toe to toe with the Cardinals’ offense, showing that they weren’t about to just lay down for the red birds.  They took that momentum into Game Five and won that matchup 6-4.  Sadly though, it would be the last win for Milwaukee, as the Cardinals would force Game Six and then Seven, eventually taking the title in 1982.  Despite the Cardinals’ eventual title win, the Brewers showed in Game Four that the club’s appearance in the Fall Classic that year was no fluke.  And the team reiterated that in Game Five, too.  And while the Brewers may not be in the playoffs this year, this club proved that it could still hold its own in the National League with an 83-79 final record.  This team could have made it into the playoffs.  And it showed in turn, that it could easily make the second season next year, too.  In the mean time, Brewers fans have these two games and two others to enjoy throughout the offseason.  The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers is available now.  It can be ordered online now at MLB Productions’ shop site, http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13117903&cp=1452356.2184761.3740939.

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