Tennis Channel Debuts on DirecTV With Beginning of US Open Today

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel today announced that the sports and lifestyle network has launched on DIRECTV viewer channel 217 to coincide with the start today of the 2007 US Open tennis tournament, one of the sport’s four Grand Slam competitions. Tennis Channel’s placement in the DIRECTV programming lineup centers it perfectly for its audience, between popular national sports channels like NFL Network and lifestyle networks on the other side.

Tennis Channel is available on DIRECTV’s broadly distributed CHOICE XTRA programming package, and both DIRECTV and Tennis Channel have plans to offer the network in high-definition near the end of 2007. This will mark the first time fans anywhere will be able to watch Tennis Channel in HD.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this distribution milestone, which instantly doubles our subscribers and allows millions of tennis fans around the country to finally watch Tennis Channel on DIRECTV every day,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “The channel’s position on 217 between major sports channels on one side and lifestyle programming on the other is a metaphor for what this network is, and we’re right in the middle of the most highly trafficked boulevard on the dial. Additionally, DIRECTV’s emphasis on marketing this network as a significant aspect of their lineup has already had a real and immediate impact toward raising Tennis Channel awareness nationally, and will continue to do so.”

In May more than one million unique households tuned in during DIRECTV’s French Open Sneak Peek, which featured Tennis Channel’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament and DIRECTV’s French Open Interactive. Special interactive features, like the Mix Channel with Tennis Channel’s primary feed and five additional Court Channels, led to nearly twice as many total viewers for the network, adding to the number of viewers who watched the primary feed alone by 92 percent. These enhancements also increased total French Open viewing time by 25 percent over the amount of time viewers spent watching only the network’s primary feed.

Tennis Channel is the most concentrated single-sport network in television, with more than 60 tournaments throughout the year, including three of the four Grand Slams. The network’s catalog of original series and specials includes player interviews, tournament behind-the-scenes, superstar “days in the life,” real-life tennis friendships, tennis vacations and hundreds of hours of exclusive documentary programming.


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