Courier joins Tennis Channel team
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, is adding 1991 and 1992 French Open Champion Jim Courier to its team for its eighth year of coverage at the Paris-based major. Starting with Opening Day Sunday, May 25, through the men’s semifinal round Friday, June 6, the network will offer 12 days of live coverage at the 2014 French Open, followed by same-day encore matches during championship weekend. In all, Tennis Channel will dedicate more than 250 round-the-clock hours to this year’s Roland Garros - 70 to live or first-run matches, almost 60 to encore replays and 120 to three-hour nightly show French Open Tonight (37-and-a-half first-run), hosted by Bill Macatee.
“I’m a big fan of the new things Tennis Channel is doing to enhance the coverage of our sport and I’ve enjoyed being a part of their coverage at other events the past few years,” said Courier. “Roland Garros is a very special place for me and I’m thrilled to get a chance to add this to the other events I get the opportunity to cover with the Tennis Channel team.”
Courier has steadily expanded his presence on Tennis Channel since joining the network at the US Open in 2012. Last year he became part of the network’s Wimbledon team and has added the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open so far in 2014. With Roland Garros, the Hall of Famer will now contribute to Tennis Channel’s coverage at all four of the sport’s major events.
“Getting Jim Courier on our French Open All-Star team and thus, at all four majors for us, has been Tennis Channel’s goal for many years,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “He’s a Hall of Famer, major champion, former No. 1, PowerShares Champion Series leader, current Davis Cup captain, and one of the most exceptional and highly regarded analysts in the sport today. His insight and ability to contextualize and deconstruct every aspect of the game are second to none. I really believe we have one of the strongest on-air teams in all of sports, and Jim’s addition in Paris adds to that significantly.”
Tennis Channel’s typical French Open daily schedule consists of nine-hour match blocks starting at 10 a.m. ET followed by French Open Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, which then re-airs throughout the night until the following morning on the eve of the upcoming day’s play (a complete schedule follows, below). Live coverage runs from 10 a.m. ET to 3:30 p.m. ET most days, with three-and-a-half hours of encore replays bridging the live programming and French Open Tonight.
French Open Tonight generally runs from 7 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET, then two more times until 4 a.m. In its eighth year - all of them hosted by Macatee, one of America’s top national sportscasters - the show gives American audiences a nightly digest of that day’s tournament excitement via interviews, highlights, features and full game or set replays when appropriate. Guests include players, coaches, Hall of Famers, tennis officials, occasional celebrities, reporters, Tennis Channel analysts and others associated with Roland Garros. The show’s tone reflects Macatee’s warm, conversational approach rather than the often too high-adrenaline world of televised sports, and takes place on an elevated studio set overlooking the tournament’s historic Musketeer Plaza.
During most early mornings, Tennis Channel will air daily highlights from 4 a.m. ET to 5 a.m. ET, produced by the tournament’s governing French Tennis Federation. This is just before ESPN2 begins its first-ball coverage at the start of each day’s play at 5 a.m. As they have done since 2007, Tennis Channel and ESPN2 are offering viewers virtually non-stop, 24-hour coverage of the French Open. Tennis Channel produces all telecasts for both networks, with each cross-promoting the other’s telecast.
In addition to Courier and Macatee (@Bmacatee), Tennis Channel’s French Open on-air team includes lead women’s analyst and Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova (@Martina), who has won more singles titles than anyone who has ever played professional tennis (among them two French Open championships). Navratilova and Macatee have appeared on air together during every one of Tennis Channel’s Grand Slam telecasts, beginning with the 2007 French Open.
Analyst Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) is working her fifth French Open for Tennis Channel. The former No. 1 was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame earlier this year and will become Tennis Channel’s most recent Hall of Famer when she is inducted this summer. She will be joined by fellow Grand Slam champions Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) and Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob), who are in their third and eighth years in Paris for the network, respectively. Katrina Adams (@katadams68), who won 21 doubles titles as a WTA player and currently serves as First Vice President of the United States Tennis Association, is also on Tennis Channel’s analyst roster, for the seventh time.
Legendary coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), is known for guiding both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, and currently instructs American star Sloane Stephens. He is in his first year as a member of Tennis Channel’s French Open analyst team, after joining the network in early 2014.
Live desk host, analyst and reporter Mary Carillo’s path has taken her from winning the French Open mixed-doubles title in 1977 to her status as one of television’s most admired journalists today. This will be her fourth French Open as a part of Tennis Channel’s on-air team. Tennis Channel’s award-winning announcers also have logged numerous hours in the network’s Paris booth prior to this year. They include Ted Robinson (eighth French Open for Tennis Channel), Ian Eagle (eighth), Brett Haber (@BrettHaber; third) and former player and longtime tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras (@LShirock; seventh).
Author and Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) is covering his third French Open for Tennis Channel this year, and will again handle special reports and offer opinion for the network.
Broadband and Digital Coverage
When not watching television, fans can visit Tennis Channel’s Web site, tennischannel.com, for interactive tournament draws, real-time scoring, photos, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from French Open Tonight. Veteran reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) will file online columns from the City of Light again in 2014, while online visitors will have the chance to enjoy the network’s annual “Racquet Bracket” French Open prediction came.
Tennis Channel’s app, Tennis Channel Everywhere, is free to all Apple or Android users regardless of whether or not they currently subscribe to the television network. The app contains daily updates, online video highlights, Court Report news updates and player Bag Check clips. Additionally, many app users who subscribe to Tennis Channel are able to watch the network’s live television feed wherever they go, through its authenticated TV Everywhere function, made available by various distribution partners at no extra charge.
Facebook (facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (youtube.com/tennischannel), Instagram (instagram.com/tennischannel) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/tennischannel) offer other digital avenues for fans to stay engaged with Tennis Channel during the French Open.
Tennis Channel’s Live 2014 French Open Match Schedule
(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)
|Sunday, May 25||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||First-Round Action|
|Monday, May 26||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||First-Round Action|
|Tuesday, May 27||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||First-Round Action|
|Wednesday, May 28||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||Second-Round Action|
|Thursday, May 29||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||Second-Round Action|
|Friday, May 30||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||Third-Round Action|
|Saturday, May 31||5 a.m.-Noon||Third-Round Action|
|Sunday, June 1||5 a.m.-1 p.m.||Round-of-16 Action|
|Monday, June 2||10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.||Round-of-16 Action|
|Tuesday, June 3||8 a.m.-1 p.m.||Quarterfinals|
|Thursday, June 5||6 a.m.-9 a.m.||Mixed-Doubles Final|
|Friday, June 6||7 a.m.-11 a.m.||Men’s Semifinal|
French Open encore match coverage on Tennis Channel this year will include same-day replays of men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, as follows (ET):
Wednesday, June 4 - 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals
Thursday, June 5 - 2 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s semifinals
Friday, June 6 - 5 p.m.-midnight: men’s semifinals
Saturday, June 7 - 12 a.m.-7 a.m.: men’s semifinals; 9 p.m.-11 p.m. women’s final
Sunday, June 8 - 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m.: women’s final; 9 p.m.-midnight: men’s final
(Additional encores will air after the tournament during the week of June 8)
The network will also show the men’s doubles final Saturday, June 7, at 11 p.m. ET, and women’s doubles final Monday, June 9, at 12 a.m. Both telecasts will be same-day delay.
Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule (ET)
From Sunday, May 25, through Friday, May 30, French Open Tonight will premiere from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., followed immediately by back-to-back replays from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. This lineup also will be used Monday, June through Wednesday, June 4.
During the first weekend, on Saturday, May 31, French Open Tonight will debut from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and re-air three consecutive times, from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight and 12 a.m.-3 a.m. On Sunday, June 1, the show will originally run from 4 p.m.-7 p.m., and then encore from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m.
On Thursday, June 5, the final French Open Tonight will consist of a four-and-a-half hour special edition from 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m., and will run again once, from 11:30 p.m.-4 a.m.
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