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US Open coverage starts August 29th

LOS ANGELES — In its third year of US Open coverage, Tennis Channel will add Mary Carillo to its on-air lineup, marking the Queens, N.Y., native’s first stint in the network’s broadcast booth at the Flushing Meadow-based largest event in tennis. Carillo, who made her Grand Slam debut for the channel during its French Open coverage in May, will interact with Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and other returning talent throughout the network’s nearly 24-hour US Open “Grounds Pass” August 29 through September 11. During the two-week competition Tennis Channel will devote 236 hours of programming to the sport’s greatest annual spectacle, with 72 of them dedicated to live, on-court play, including prime-time windows Labor Day weekend.

Also new in 2011 is the addition of a sixth television court for tournament broadcasters to share with viewers. Court No. 17 (the number has no bearing on match rank or quality) joins Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court No. 11 and Court No. 13 as the on-screen homes of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Tennis Channel’s live coverage begins Monday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. ET, and concludes Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. ET.

No network devotes as much time to Grand Slam analysis, and Tennis Channel’s US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open will return for this assignment again in 2011. Anchored by Davenport, who won the 1998 US Open singles title, and Kevin Frazier, host of the entertainment industry’s The Insider, the network’s news, interview and highlight shows run throughout the late night and morning, right up to the following day’s play. Sprinkled with late-night, early morning encore matches, the programs, along with Tennis Channel’s live-match coverage, give viewers seemingly unending access to the US Open.

Starting with the first match of the tournament Monday, Aug. 29, Tennis Channel’s typical day of coverage features live matches from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (all times ET). This is followed by US Open Tonight at 11 p.m., which alternates with encore matches throughout the late night and early morning. At 6 a.m. Breakfast at the Open introduces the coming day’s play and, save for a two-hour encore-match break at 8 a.m., runs up to the first match at 11 a.m. Labor Day weekend is the exception, when the network’s live window takes place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

On-Air Talent

While it represents her first time covering the action of her hometown tournament for Tennis Channel, Carillo is no newcomer to the network or the US Open. She hosted the channel’s live tournament desk, covered interviews and offered perspective as only she can during this year’s French Open, to the delight of viewers and members of the media alike. Carillo will have the same responsibilities in Flushing, where her refreshing honesty has been known for decades, as she has lent her wit and wisdom to several US Open broadcast partners, including CBS Sports, USA Network and ESPN. Winning numerous awards for her contributions to journalism, including a Sports Emmy Award, she has made a place for herself television sports like few others in the business.

No two people symbolize Tennis Channel Grand Slam telecasts like Hall of Famer Navratilova and veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee. Both have been at the forefront of every Grand Slam ever covered by the network, a lineup that has grown to include all four major events today. In New York this year they will be joined by lead commentators Ted Robinson and Ian Eagle again, and former players Austin, Leif Shiras, Justin Gimelstob, Jimmy Arias and Corina Morariu. Morariu will offer in-depth reports and analysis on site at the outer-court matches, which typically are the closest, longest contests of the first week of play. Court Report anchor Carrie Champion also will return to provide special news and feature segments from throughout the tournament grounds. Meanwhile, Davenport and Frazier will host US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open from Tennis Channel’s Los Angeles studio, with an assist from the inimitable Bud Collins, reporter, writer and overall tennis expert. Both shows will feature nightly Court Report segments from reporters Arlene Santana and Angela Sun.

‘Grounds Pass’

Since its first year of televising the US Open, Tennis Channel has focused on giving viewers an immersive experience that can only be replicated with a trip to Flushing Meadow. Its “Grounds Pass” coverage returns in 2011, allowing audiences to feel the heat, excitement, energy, noise and passion of a late-summer day spent at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. During the first week, when activity is seemingly everywhere and the matches run deep into the night, the network’s “Tennis Channel Plaza” will be back on display. Gimelstob will again conduct interviews and interact with fans on the site just outside Arthur Ashe Stadium, along with Champion and other members of the on-air team. The network’s main set, the center point of its coverage, will be out in plain sight again on the second level of the stadium, with Robinson, Eagle and others in full view of tournament ticket holders. From here the viewers go wherever the action is most intense, whether at center court with Macatee or Navratilova or out roving amongst the fans as they take it all in.

Broadband and Digital Coverage

Tennis Channel’s Web site, tennischannel.com, will shift its focus to the Big Apple during the two-week tournament, with live-match streaming, real-time scoring, schedules, draws and order of play. New to the online-video offerings this year will be American tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ video blog, in which the veteran US Open and Fed Cup competitor will share her unique perspective with the type of players’ lounge access that only comes when your name is in the main draw. Other video will include on-court highlights, behind-the-scenes features, interviews and on-air Court Report news segments. Reporters Steve Flink and Matt Cronin will write columns for the site during the US Open, as will Joel Drucker and humorist James LaRosa. Joining them will be official US Open hairstylist Julien Farel, who will author a blog on the network site for the first time in his years of styling the likes of Billie Jean King, Rafael Nadal and Mary Joe Fernandez.

Tennis Channel’s “Racquet Bracket” prediction game will allow online visitors to put their basic bracketology skills to the tennis test leading up to the competition again this year. The network also stays engaged with viewers via Facebook (facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (twitter.com/tennischannel) and YouTube (youtube.com/tennischannel).

Tennis Channel’s Live 2011 US Open Match Schedule

Date Time (ET) Event
Monday, Aug. 29 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, Aug. 30 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round Action
Wednesday, Aug. 31 11 a.m.-7 p.m. First-Round, Second-Round Action
Thursday, Sept. 1 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Second-Round Action
Friday, Sept. 2 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Second-Round, Third-Round Action
Saturday, Sept. 3 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Third-Round Action
Sunday, Sept. 4 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Third-Round, Fourth-Round Action
Tuesday, Sept. 6 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fourth-Round Action, Doubles
Wednesday, Sept. 7 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Doubles Quarterfinals
Thursday, Sept. 8 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Doubles, Juniors, Wheelchair

Tennis Channel’s US Open Tonight, Breakfast at the Open Schedule

Highlight and interview show US Open Tonight will premiere at 11 p.m. ET every night of the US Open, Monday, Aug. 29-Sunday, Sept. 11. After its debut Tuesday, Aug. 30, sister-show Breakfast at the Open will run through the end of the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 11. The program will appear every morning at 6 a.m. ET, with the exception of an 11 a.m. ET start on Saturday, Sept. 10. The schedule is generally as follows (all times ET):

11 p.m.-12 a.m. - US Open Tonight
12 a.m.-1 a.m. - US Open Tonight
1 a.m.-3 a.m. - Encore Match
3 a.m.-4 a.m. - US Open Tonight
4 a.m.-6 a.m. - Encore Match
6 a.m.-7 a.m. - Breakfast at the Open
7 a.m.-8 a.m. - Breakfast at the Open
8 a.m.-10 a.m. - Encore Match
10 a.m.-11 a.m. - Breakfast at the Open

Tennis Channel (www.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 World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV and DISH Network.

 

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