Tennis Channel launches subscription service
PARIS — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, has unveiled an annual digital subscription service - Tennis Channel Plus - on opening day of the 2014 French Open. Available to all U.S.-based digital users, the service can be accessed through the network’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app or through tennischanneleverywhere.com.
In conjunction with the start of the French Open today, Tennis Channel Plus gives tennis fans additional access to the Roland Garros action with an eight-day multi-court mosaic that has over 70 live matches available. Throughout the year, users have access to content that’s not available anywhere else - not even on Tennis Channel. Programming offered on Tennis Channel Plus for subscribers includes 300 live matches from close to 40 tournaments around the world, including ATP 250 and WTA International events as well as exclusive Davis Cup and Fed Cup coverage.
In addition to live highlight clips from these tournaments, users can watch thousands of hours of on-demand matches, both recent and classic. Timeless matchups such as Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras versus Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal will let the fans that cannot get enough tennis relive the sport’s glory moments as often as they like. Besides live, recent and classic match content, subscribers can tune into Tennis Channel original programming. Archived episodes of current series - Tour Guide and Tennis Channel Academy - classic episodes of earlier shows such as Center Court with Chris Myers as well as viewer-favorites Bag Check and Court Report will be available all year-round.
Tennis Channel Plus works to enhance the sporting experience by expanding the amount of content Tennis Channel can offer its viewers - some of the game’s most avid fans. With the release of the digital service for $59.99 for the season, Tennis Channel offers an enriched viewing experience. The service complements what is already on the network’s air for users while simultaneously creating a new distribution model for affiliating operators. This new hybrid model gives the network’s Tennis Channel Everywhere distribution partners the chance to become profit participants in the network’s digital subscription service without any upfront costs or linear-channel commitment. Digital services like Tennis Channel Everywhere and Tennis Channel Plus have never been more valuable than they are today - allowing viewers to choose what, when and where they want to watch tennis.
“Tennis Channel has created the first TV Everywhere and digital subscription service in one app to not only keep up with fans’ desire to see more tennis more of the time but to also enhance their viewing experience with tennis - a sport that is constant, with overlapping matches in international time zones,” said Adam Ware, senior vice president, head of digital media, Tennis Channel. “This service not only allows fans to access their Tennis Channel subscription through authenticated TV Everywhere but also purchase additional premium programming on an ala carte basis, in which our affiliates are profit participants. We believe we’ve created a new business model for this evolving sports-media ecosystem.”
In the future, Tennis Channel Plus has the potential to offer even more content to viewers. The network hopes to include shows such as Tennis Channel original series and documentary programming as well as an expanded roster of live and on-demand matches, with more mosaics to enhance live tournament coverage. Similarly, other content could incorporate college/junior-level circuit match play, instructional programming that includes lessons, training tips and nutritional information, and other tennis-themed content, such as additional racquet sports.
This has been a year of extensive digital growth for Tennis Channel. The network launched the Tennis Channel Everywhere app - free to all Apple and Android users - on opening day of last year’s French Open, and saw it surge to the top three in all sports-app downloads within days of its introduction. Beginning with the first day of US Open play in August, the network unveiled a TV Everywhere function for authenticated network subscribers. In just one year since the launch of the Tennis Channel Everywhere app, 75 percent of the network’s subscriber base can access TV Everywhere through the app. Tennis Channel is in talks with other operators to get 100 percent of its viewers access to TV Everywhere.
During the French Open, Tennis Channel on-air talent Jim Courier, Martina Navratilova, Bill Macatee, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Carillo and Ted Robinson, among others, will bring fans more than 250 hours of seemingly round-the-clock coverage at the 2014 tournament - one of the most esteemed tennis events of the year. The network plans close to 70 live match hours, with almost 60 hours of encore replays and 120 hours of French Open Tonight.
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