'Community Surface' Premieres Monday
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, chronicles the renovation of Centennial Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn., on its new program, Community Surface, which premieres Monday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The half-hour Community Surface built by SportMaster takes viewers behind the scenes as Tennis Channel, court-resurfacing company and presenting sponsor SportMaster, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), renovate the public tennis facility that was badly damaged in Nashville’s May floods. During the national headline-grabbing storms, 36 inches of rain destroyed many of the 19 courts at Centennial Tennis Center which, due to insufficient repair funds, had left them unplayable and closed this summer. Following a week of repairs in August, members of the Nashville tennis community were able to enjoy these courts again for the first time since the spring catastrophe.
“By showcasing how the makeover of just one public center can rejuvenate an entire tennis community, we hope Tennis Channel can inspire others to work together to improve their local facilities or help with other tennis needs,” said Laura Hockridge, vice president, original programming, Tennis Channel. “Three-fourths of our viewers also play tennis recreationally, and this program is a natural reflection of the grass-roots connections that exist all over our country.”
Hosted by writer and television personality Touré, who also hosts Fuse TV’s Hiphop Show and On the Record, the program was taped in Nashville August 10-18. Centennial Tennis Center’s courts were sealed off with privacy screens during the renovation, with the grand revelation on August 18.
Upon its completion the Centennial Tennis Center now features eight new 36’ kids tennis courts in addition to the 13 existing regulation 78’ courts. The USTA’s QuickStart play format will be taught on the kids tennis courts. The QuickStart play format is designed to bring kids into the game with specialized equipment, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring, all tailored to age and size. Beyond the youth-oriented program, each year the USTA helps numerous communities repair and maintain their tennis facilities through public grants.
“The USTA is proud to be partnering with SportMaster and Tennis Channel to make this happen,” said Kurt Kamperman, chief executive, community tennis, USTA. “To be able to return these courts back to playing condition allows us to continue our mission of growing the game at all age levels, especially to kids ten and under.”
“The floods caused so much damage throughout the area that we had no idea how we were ever going to get these courts back into playing condition,” said Blain Smith, manager, Centennial Tennis Center. “We can’t thank Tennis Channel, SportMaster and the USTA enough for helping our tennis community back and hopefully inspiring others to take up the game.”
Tennis Channel (tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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