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Tennis Channel serves busy March lineup

LOS ANGELES - March is one of the busiest months in all of sports and tennis is no exception. Tennis Channel’s three-and-a-half weeks of live tennis coverage takes place at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on March 9 and Miami Open on March 23, both referred to the sport’s “fifth slam” events. Tennis Channel will devote more than 185 live hours, with 18 days of live action, 15 of which will be daylong blocks of coverage. With late-night encores, the channel will air more than 500 hours of total coverage from Southern California and Miami.

For the second straight year, Tennis Channel will be at the BNP Paribas Open for the first day of play, offering eight consecutive days of 12-hour, live match blocks and 10 days of live action total at the 12-day event (complete schedule for both tournaments follow). The network will air more than 100 hours of live matches and 145 hours of encore broadcasts. The BNP Paribas Open is already one of the most attended events on the calendar, but this year has additional buzz, as star Venus Williams is returning to the tournament a year after her sister did the same. This will be Williams’ first appearance since 2001.

Tennis Channel will broadcast live matches from Opening Day Wednesday, March 9, through the men’s and women’s quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 16. The network will carry a live men’s quarterfinal match on Friday, March 18, as well as the men’s doubles final on Saturday, March 19. With all-night encores throughout the tournament, and same-day encore coverage for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, fans can tune in to Tennis Channel from morning to night March 9-March 20 and catch all of the action from Indian Wells.

The network will air a BNP Paribas Open preview show leading into the tournament that premieres on Sunday, March 6, at 4 p.m. ET. New for the channel this year will be a live edition of Tennis Channel’s franchise Racquet Bracket: BNP Paribas Open on site at Indian Wells. A staple of Tennis Channel’s coverage of the past four Slams, it will feature Emmy Award-winner Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), Coach Paul Annacone (@paulannacone) and former player James Blake (@JRBlake) breaking down the complete men’s and women’s draws. The premiere will air on Tuesday, March 8, at 8 p.m. ET, on the eve of the tournament. Encore presentations will be broadcast leading up to the start of the tournament at Indian Wells. In another first for Tennis Channel, the network will be live each day through the men’s final of the tournament with Tennis Channel Live at the BNP Paribas Open, with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET each afternoon, except for Friday, March 18, when the show airs at 2 p.m. ET. Based at the tournament desk located on the grounds in full view of the fans, Haber will host alongside Austin and Blake, and Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim (@jonwertheim). In addition to the latest news and analysis, the group will offer special segments, interviews and reports throughout the tournament.

“It’s awesome being at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden where you can really feel the energy the fans bring to the event,” said analyst Jim Courier. “With Tennis Channel expanding our coverage, it’s wonderful to be able to call one of the great events of the season.”

Following the BNP Paribas Open is March’s other high-profile competition: the Miami Open, from March 22-April 3. Just like the BNP Paribas Open, Tennis Channel’s coverage begins on the eve of the tournament with a live edition of Racket Bracket: Miami Open on Tuesday, March 22 at 8pm ET. Tennis Channel Live at the Miami Open kicks off live coverage running from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. ET, from the first ball of play through the women’s quarterfinals, with same-day encores of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Opening Day features daylong blocks of live action most days, with round-the-clock encores filling out the late-night and early morning schedules. The network will air more than 85 live hours and nearly 250 overall with encore replays.

On-Air Talent

This year marks the third year Hall of Famer Courier is part of Tennis Channel’s on-air team for the BNP Paribas Open. He is joined by fellow Hall of Famers Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) and Austin. Davenport boasts an impressive resume in the desert with singles titles in 1997 and 2000, and a remarkable six doubles titles in 1994-95, 1997-98, 2000 and 2003.

Haber is one of television’s most respected and decorated sportscasters and will be with the channel for his seventh trip to Indian Wells. Former player and esteemed journalist Mary Carillo, with the award-winning Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson), will be a part of the broadcast team as well. Both have also worked with the network at other prestigious events such as: French Open, US Open and Davis Cup matches. Also joining the fold is Steve Weissman (@steve_weissman), who will be a part of Tennis Channel Live at the BNP Paribas Open.

Former player and current coach Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) is one of the most connected voices in tennis broadcasting and has been with the network since its infancy. Along with his broadcasting duties with the network in Indian Wells, Gimelstob is currently the coach of the top-ranked men’s tennis player in America, John Isner.

Fellow coach Annacone (@paul_annacone) has guided two of the sport’s legends, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, to major titles. Annacone joined the network in 2014 and will be part of the broadcast team in Indian Wells for the second year. Making his Indian Wells debut for Tennis Channel is former World No. 4 James Blake.

Wertheim brings his sharp tennis reporter’s eye to his second BNP Paribas Open for the channel. A veteran journalist and an executive editor and senior writer of Sports Illustrated¸ Wertheim has authored many books on the sport and publishes a weekly column.

Davenport will continue her analyst’s duties for Tennis Channel’s Tennis Channel Live at the Miami Open for the Miami Open in late March. She will be joined by former players Leif Shiras (@LShirock) and Knowles. She along with Austin will appear during live match coverage with Haber, Carillo, Shiras, Knowles and Annacone.

Digital

Network website tennischannel.com will continue to offer news, highlights, scores and columns from longtime reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) to everyone who visits during the Southern California and Miami events.

Users have more mobile options with network app Tennis Channel Everywhere, which is available to all Apple and Android users and includes much of the content available online. In addition to Apple and Android users, Tennis Channel Everywhere is available on Roku, Amazon Fire devices, and Apple TV. Select distribution partners allow authenticated Tennis Channel subscribers to access the network on the go through Tennis Channel Everywhere, and the network’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus, offers exclusive live and archived tennis to anyone in the United States, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to Tennis Channel.

 

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