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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