The migration of major sporting events from broadcast television…to partial cable/broadcast…to all cable continues as ESPn announced today that it has attained the exclusive U.S. rights to telecast the entire U.S. Open Tennis Championship beginning in 2015. The contract runs 11 years. When the new deal begins ESPN will have the U.S. rights to three of the four majors in tennis.
ESPN takes over the championship from CBS, which has had the rights to the Open since 1968.
Details from ESPN PR:
ESPN has televised approximately 100 hours of live US Open matches annually since 2009, and now will air 130+ hours with the addition of day-long coverage of the “middle weekend” – Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday – plus both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. The new US Open schedule – previously announced to start in 2015 – places the women’s final on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday.
All rounds of the tournament will be also made available online via WatchESPN.
“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,” said John Skipper, ESPN president. “We look forward to capturing every match, every star, every championship and all the drama on this grand stage.”
Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said, “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.”