Courier joins Australian Open team
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel is expanding Hall of Famer Jim Courier’s roster of tournament assignments to include the Australian Open, starting with the 2014 edition in Melbourne. Courier will have a nightly presence during the network’s two-week coverage, which begins Monday, Jan. 13, and will appear in a series of special segments from the tournament grounds in Melbourne. In all, Tennis Channel will dedicate more than 180 hours to this year’s Australian Open, with 30 hours of live match play, another 60 hours of encore replays, more than 80 hours of Australian Open Today and nine hours of daily highlights.
Courier, who currently serves as captain of the United States Davis Cup team, joined Tennis Channel in 2012 as lead men’s analyst at the US Open. In 2013 he added Wimbledon to his responsibilities and, beginning later this year, the BNP Paribas Open in March.
“I’m excited to work with Tennis Channel at the Australian Open this year,” said Courier. “It’s always fun to be in Melbourne as the new tennis year gets going. I think we’re going to see some interesting story developments on both the men’s and women’s sides right out of the gate in 2014.”
This is Tennis Channel’s seventh year of televising the Australian Open. As with previous tournaments, the network will carry 10 straight nights of live primetime matches from Monday, Jan. 13, through Wednesday, Jan. 22, beginning at 7 p.m. ET each night (complete schedule follows). This coverage will run from the first round through the singles quarterfinals, and be followed by live coverage of a mixed-doubles semifinal and the mixed-doubles final, and the men’s and women’s doubles finals later in the week.
With its initial coverage of the Australian Open in 2008, Tennis Channel became the first U.S. network to show all five Australian Open finals: mixed doubles and men’s and women’s singles and doubles. It has done so every year since, and this year again will offer same-day men’s and women’s singles encores along with its live mixed-doubles and doubles finals.
Tennis Channel’s morning highlight-and-encore show Australian Open Today will run daily from Monday, Jan. 13, through Wednesday, Jan. 22. Close to 80 first-run hours are planned for 2014, with a five-hour encore edition on the second Monday, Jan. 20.
Tennis Channel and ESPN’s ongoing Grand Slam alliance includes the Australian Open and gives viewers near round-the-clock tournament enjoyment from Melbourne. ESPN produces the Australian Open for both networks, with each utilizing its own commentators and cross-promoting their combined television offerings.
Australian Open On-Air Talent
Courier was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005 after a 13-year career that saw him win 23 singles titles, among them four majors. He achieved the No. 1 singles ranking and won two crowns as a player on the U.S. Davis Cup team. In retirement he has appeared on television for NBC, USA Network and Channel 7 Australia.
Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) and Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova (@Martina) have been part of Tennis Channel’s on-air team at every major the network has covered. Macatee will handle Australian Open play-by-play responsibilities again in 2014, with Navratilova resuming her analyst’s role. Fellow Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) will share her champion’s point of view as an analyst in Melbourne as well, as will longtime Tennis Channel commentator and former player Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob). Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs), who won the 2000 Australian Open doubles crown, will appear in vignettes and special reports.
Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) is back for his third Australian Open with Tennis Channel, and will provide an additional play-by-play voice for the network. Haber also calls the US Open and French Open for Tennis Channel, as well as other tournaments throughout the year. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim will report for Tennis Channel in Melbourne again in 2014, a role he has held since 2012. Wertheim’s tennis columns for Sports Illustrated are among the industry’s most widely read.
Paul Annacone, who just became American star Sloane Stephens’ coach, will offer commentary during select Tennis Channel Australian Open matches this year for the first time. Annacone is widely recognized for his role as coach of both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, tennis legends whose names are frequently invoked in “greatest of all time” debates. Working around his schedule with Stephens, he will appear on the network for match analysis and general commentary. In November Annacone appeared on Tennis Channel’s new studio show, Tennis Channel Live, during the men’s year-end championships.
While the action is underway in Melbourne, Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, will offer real-time scoring, video highlights, interviews, Australian Open Today clips, an interactive draw and the network’s exclusive Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game. Lauded tennis reporters Steve Flink, Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) and Richard Evans (@Ringham7) will write columns throughout the two-week tournament. Additionally, visitors interested in the chance to win a trip to the 2015 event will be able to enter Tennis Channel’s Australian Open sweepstakes online during the tournament as well.
Tennis Channels’ Facebook (facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (youtube.com/tennischannel) and Instagram (instagram.com/tennischannel) activities will bring the Australian Open to social media in 2014, as will the network’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app. Introduced in 2013, the app is free to Apple and Android users and offers a wide variety of digital tournament features. One of these, the TV Everywhere authentication function, also allows subscribers of select distribution partners to access Tennis Channel’s linear feed through their computers or mobile devices.
Tennis Channel’s Live Australian Open Match Schedule (all times ET)
|Monday, Jan. 13||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||First Round|
|Tuesday, Jan. 14||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Second Round|
|Wednesday, Jan. 15||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Second Round|
|Thursday, Jan. 16||7 p.m.-11 p.m.||Third Round|
|Friday, Jan. 17||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Third Round|
|Saturday, Jan. 18||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Round of 16|
|Sunday, Jan. 19||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Round of 16|
|Monday, Jan. 20||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals|
|Tuesday, Jan. 21||7 p.m.-9 p.m.||Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals|
|Wednesday, Jan. 22||7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.||TBA|
|Thursday, Jan. 23||11 p.m.-3 a.m.||Mixed Doubles Semifinal and Women’s Doubles Final|
|Saturday, Jan. 25||5:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. Men’s Doubles Final|
|Sunday, Jan. 26||12 a.m.-2 a.m.||Mixed Doubles Final|
Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule (all times ET)
Australian Open Today will air for 10 days from Monday, Jan. 13, through Wednesday, Jan. 22. The show will run from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday of the first week. On Saturday, Jan. 18, the program is scheduled for 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
The second week of Australian Open Today begins Sunday, Jan. 19, with separate four-hour blocks from 7 a.m.-11a.m and 3 p.m.-7 p.m. On Monday, Jan. 20, the show will run from 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m., with an immediate five-hour encore from 2 p.m.-7 p.m. The final editions, on Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week, are planned for 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
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