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Tennis Channel Honored with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum

*NEW YORK, NY - *Tennis Channel will be honored for its ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, at the 29th annual “Legends Ball” on Friday, September 11, 2009 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. This special night of celebration will also honor a host of tennis luminaries including Rod Laver, who will receive a special Life Trustee Award, and the Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2009 - Donald L. Dell, Andres Gimeno, the late Dr. Robert Johnson and nine-time Grand Slam Champion Monica Seles.

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award was created in honor of an individual whose passion and generosity for the game of tennis inspired others to contribute to the advancement of the sport. Joseph F. Cullman 3rd served as President and Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum from 1982-88, a tenure during which the organization was elevated to worldwide recognition. He hoped that visits to the historic site would inspire young people to play tennis, learn and appreciate its history, and honor the great players of the past. Previous recipients of the award include: BNP Paribas receiving the inaugural award in 2006; followed by Rolex in 2007 and Sony Ericsson in 2008.

“Over the past six years Tennis Channel has dramatically increased the awareness and viewership of tennis as well as the participation in the game at all levels and ages,” said Christopher E. Clouser, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “Tennis Channel has become the network that is the home to the game in the USA and deserving of this outstanding recognition. The thousands of hours they dedicate to all aspects of the game, from travel and instruction through their unparalleled Grand Slam coverage is expanding interest in tennis.”

The presentation will take place during the same time that Tennis Channel covers its first US Open. The network also covers Wimbledon, the French Open and Australian Open in high definition, in addition to the US Open Series, Davis Cup, ATP Masters Series, Fed Cup and top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions. In just six years since its launch in 2003, the network has amassed a year-round tournament schedule that gives it the most concentrated coverage of any single-sport television channel and makes it one of the most successful independent networks in the industry.

“On behalf of our entire network, our investors and board of directors, Tennis Channel is honored to be recognized with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award,” said Ken Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Tennis Channel. “Since our launch six years ago we’ve tried to remain true to a vision shared by Mr. Cullman and the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, doing our part to inspire people to play tennis and observe its tradition and remarkable players. I can think of no better atmosphere for this announcement than Wimbledon, and for this ceremony than the US Open, as our entire industry gathers for both in annual celebrations of the best tennis in the world.”

The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport’s great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries. In addition to honoring Rod Laver and the Class of 2009 inductees, and presenting the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to Tennis Channel, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will also present the Eugene L. Scott Award to Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. Previous recipients of the award include: John McEnroe receiving the inaugural award in 2006; followed by Andre Agassi in 2007 and Billie Jean King in 2008.

Guests can also bid upon once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Pam Shriver; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; a meet and greet with Tiger Woods; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; and autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer, James Blake and Rafael Nadal.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.

 

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