Wimbledon Primetime begins Monday
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will dedicate close to 215 hours to Wimbledon during its seventh year of nightly Wimbledon Primetime coverage. Beginning with the opening day of play, Monday, June 23, the three-and-a-half-hour show will air each evening of the two-week competition, followed by immediate replays that run throughout the late night and early morning. The network plans 85 first-run Wimbledon Primetime hours in 2014, beginning at 4 p.m. ET the first night.
Since its debut in 2008, Tennis Channel’s first year of covering the sport’s oldest major, Wimbledon Primetime has been hosted by renowned sportscaster Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) and offered a nightly recap of each day’s action. News, analysis, in-depth interviews and encore matches are interwoven with features and special segments to give American tennis audiences - typically at work while Wimbledon play takes place in London - a primetime television place to keep abreast of the tournament as it unfolds. In addition to Macatee’s conversational approach and analysis from Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina) and Jim Courier, Wimbledon Primetime’s signatures include Mary Carillo’s “Fleet Street Beat” panels with British media and daily “Unstrung” reports from Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim).
Based in the largest on-site studio on the grounds of the hallowed All England Lawn and Tennis Club, Wimbledon Primetime’s other on-air team members include newly elected Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), who won singles and doubles crowns at the event in 1999, and 2001 and 2004 Wimbledon doubles champion Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs). Former player Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) also returns and, along with Macatee and Navratilova, has been a part of Tennis Channel’s team at every Grand Slam event the network has covered. Coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), who at different points helmed the careers of legends Pete Sampras and Roger Federer and now guides young American star Sloane Stephens, will appear regularly on Wimbledon Primetime for the first time this year.
Wimbledon Primetime typically runs in two editions each night of the two-week event, from 4 p.m. ET-7:30 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. ET-11 p.m. ET. There are three exceptions: the match-free, mid-tournament break Sunday, June 29, and championship weekend Saturday, July 5, and Sunday, July 6. For the final weekend a single four-hour show will air from 6 p.m. ET-10 p.m. ET. Each evening, immediately following its first-run conclusion, Wimbledon Primetime will re-air throughout the night and early morning up to the following day’s play.
After the final edition of Wimbledon Primetime on Sunday, July 6, Tennis Channel will air a one-hour roundtable with network analysts at 10 p.m. ET. The conversation will review the fortnight in London and look ahead to the upcoming men’s and women’s summer hard-court seasons. Also new in 2014, special five-minute Center Court Wimbledon reports will run at 8 p.m. ET during the weekend leading into the tournament, Friday through Sunday, June 20-22. Additionally, on Saturday, June 21, Tennis Channel will televise the U.S. premiere of BBC documentary Andy Murray: Behind the Racquet, which offers an inside look at the first British man to win Wimbledon in almost eight decades. The film will run at 10 p.m. ET and again Sunday, June 22, at 11:30 p.m. ET - commercial free both nights.
During Wimbledon, Apple and Android users can access Tennis Channel’s app, Tennis Channel Everywhere, for free, regardless of whether or not they currently subscribe to the network. The app offers highlights, daily updates, Court Report news segments and player Bag Check videos. Select distribution partners also have made Tennis Channel’s live television stream available on the app through its authenticated TV Everywhere function, at no extra charge.
The network’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, is another digital venue for keeping up with Wimbledon this year. In addition to daily interviews and segments from Wimbledon Primetime, visitors can enter Tennis Channel’s “London Calling” sweepstakes and “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game. Longtime tennis reporters Steve Flink, Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) and Richard Evans (@Ringham7) will again file regular columns on the network site in 2014 as well. Tennis Channel is active on a variety of social media and digital platforms, among them Facebook (facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (youtube.com/tennischannel), Instagram (instagram.com/tennischannel) and Pinterest (pinterest.com/tennischannel)
Tennis Channel will devote 18 hours to the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s hour-long daily highlights program throughout the tournament, typically from 11 p.m.-midnight ET, followed by encore replays on select nights. In the week immediately following the tournament, July 7-11, each night at 8 p.m. ET the network will air encore presentations of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles championships, as well as the mixed doubles final.
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