U.S. Roland Garros T.V. Schedule [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

U.S. Roland Garros T.V. Schedule

smucav
05-18-2005, 06:11 AM
U.S. Roland Garros t.v. schedule:

NBC:
[Tuesday, May 24 John McEnroe gives a preview of the French Open tennis championship on the Today show.]
Saturday, May 28th, noon-3 p.m. Eastern time — Third and Fourth Round
Sunday, May 29th, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern time — Third and Fourth Round
Friday, June 3rd, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (all time zones) — Men's Semifinals
Saturday, June 4th, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern time — Women's Final
Sunday, June 5th, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Eastern time — Men's Final

ESPN2: (Eastern)
Monday, May. 23 10:00 am to 3:00 pm live
Monday, May. 23 11:00 pm to 1:00 am
Tuesday, May. 24 10:00 am to 3:00 pm live
Tuesday, May. 24 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Wednesday, May. 25 10:00 am to 2:30 pm live
Thursday, May. 26 1:00 am to 2:30 am
Thursday, May. 26 10:00 am to 3:00 pm live
Thursday, May. 26 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Friday, May. 27 10:00 am to 2:00 pm live
Friday, May. 27 11:00 pm to 12:30 am
Saturday, May. 28 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Saturday, May. 28 11:00 pm to 12:30 am
Sunday, May. 29 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Sunday, May. 29 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Monday, May. 30 6:00 am to 3:00 pm live
Monday, May. 30 11:30 pm to 1:00 am
Tuesday, May. 31 6:00 am to 3:00 pm live
Tuesday, May. 31 10:00 pm to 12:00 am
Wednesday, Jun. 1 6:00 am to 8:00 am live
Wednesday, Jun. 1 8:00 am to 2:00 pm live
Thursday, Jun. 2 1:00 am to 3:00 am
Thursday, Jun. 2 8:00 am to 1:00 pm live
Friday, Jun. 3 12:30 am to 3:30 am
Friday, Jun. 3 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Friday, Jun. 3 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday, Jun. 4 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Sunday, Jun. 5 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

ESPN Classic: (Eastern)
Monday, May. 23 5:00 am to 10:00 am live
Tuesday, May. 24 5:00 am to 10:00 am live
Wednesday, May. 25 5:00 am to 10:00 am live
Thursday, May. 26 5:00 am to 10:00 am live
Friday, May. 27 5:00 am to 10:00 am live

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=13010&bannerregion=McEnroe: Coria Will Take Roland Garros Title
By Tennis Week
05/25/2005

John McEnroe has seen the next Roland Garros champion — on the court in the 2004 final. The 1984 French Open finalist believes 2004 Roland Garros runner-up Guillermo Coria will take home the title at the conclusion of the French fortnight.

"What I think might happen is that Federer and Nadal will beat up on each other in the semifinal and let Coria in through the back door to win the title he should have won last year," McEnroe said.

NBC Sports’ coverage of Roland Garros begins Saturday at noon Eastern time and concludes with live coverage of the women's and men's finals next Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th — a total of 17 hours in all.

Host Ted Robinson takes a break from his role as the play-by-play voice of the New York Mets and anchors NBC's coverage, accompanied by analysts John McEnroe, Mary Carillo and Bud Collins. This is Robinson's sixth French Open for NBC, McEnroe's 14th, Carillo's third and Collins' 24th.

On the women's side, McEnroe sees the winner emerging from the potential Maria Sharapova-Justine Henin-Hardenne quarterfinal match.

NBC Roland Garros Schedule

Saturday, May 28th, noon-3 p.m. Eastern time — Third and Fourth Round
Sunday, May 29th, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern time — Third and Fourth Round
Friday, June 3rd, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (all time zones) — Men's Semifinals
Saturday, June 4th, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern time — Women's Final
Sunday, June 5th, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Eastern time — Men's Final
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=12965&bannerregion=ESPN2, ESPN Classic Plans Record Roland Garros Coverage
By Tennis Week
05/17/2005

Roland Garros will reach American audiences as an instant classic. ESPN Classic will televise the French Open for the first time, offering live daily coverage from Paris starting at 5 a.m. Eastern time during the first week of the French fortnight. ESPN2 will also provide daily coverage throughout the French fortnight.

The 2005 Roland Garros begins on Monday. To view the Roland Garros Television schedule, please click this TV Schedule link.

ESPN2 and ESPN Classic's combined coverage schedule includes an unprecedented 109.5 hours from Roland Garros, including 80.5 hours of live coverage. Last year, ESPN networks scheduled 88 hours of coverage and aired a total of 99 hours of coverage from Roland Garros.

The network's decision to air its entire Australian Open coverage exclusively on ESPN2 — rather than bounce back and forth between ESPN and ESPN2 as it had done in prior years — paid dividends as ESPN2's live coverage of Serena Williams' 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over top-seeded Lindsay Davenport in the Australian Open final registered a 1.5 rating and was viewed in an average 1.35 million households making it ESPN2's highest-rated and most-viewed tennis telecast in history. Five of ESPN2's top six-rated telecasts in history occurred during the 2005 Australian Open.

Tennis fans tired of the network's propensity to air compelling matches on tape-delay in previous years. ESPN executives said the move to ESPN2 and ESPN Classic enables the network to televise more live tennis. It may also aid a ratings rise as fans won't have to channel surf to find the French Open.

"The move to ESPN2 — and utilizing ESPN Classic on weekday mornings — allows us to bolster our schedule to better serve tennis fans with what they crave: more live tennis," said Mark Shapiro, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production. "In a very short time we have established ESPN2 as America's tennis destination network — The Grand Slam Network."

Planned highlights for the French fortnight include:

Each weekday through the quarterfinals on Wednesday, June 1st, fans will be treated to at least nine hours of continuous live coverage.

ESPN2 will televise both women's semifinals live Thursday, June 2nd and one men's semifinal Friday, June 3rd.

A nightly highlights show (90 minutes or two hours) will be aired on ESPN2 for the first 12 days of the tournament, through Friday, June 3rd.

The tournament will again conclude with one-hour SportsCenter at the French Open specials on ESPN2 immediately following NBC's coverage of the women's final on June 4th and the men's final on June 5th.

Multi-Emmy Award winner Dick Enberg, who completed his career Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January, will call his 19th French Open, along with Cliff Drysdale and Tim Ryan, analysts Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Shriver will also frequently be utilized as a roving reporter covering play in "outer courts" and the scene around the grounds of Roland Garros. Chris Fowler and Suzy Kolber will share on-site host duties. Also, Kit Hoover, seen over the last two years as a co-host on ESPN2's Cold Pizza and as a judge on Dream Job, will join the ESPN tennis team as a features reporter, focusing on topics off the court and around Paris.

ESPN Classic's presentations will be distinguished by an added emphasis on the great history at Roland Garros, with vignettes highlighting great moments in French Open history and excerpts from pertinent episodes of the Emmy Award-winning SportsCentury series.

TenHound
05-19-2005, 04:15 AM
Somebody's an optimist if they think F***ESPN will actually show tennis. It's usually selling deodorant & pornography - at least in America. Latin Americans are lucky - you get to see real tennis, we're stuck w/the trash. Every match of the people you never wanted to see in the first place - Wms(es), Roddick, Agassi - of whom I've seen enough - & ShriekerBitch. I'd watch paint dry before I'd watch any of them... While in Latin America, they get to see Federer, Coria, Safin, the Belgians & anything else interesting that a tennis lover would actually want to see. (And it's broadcast in English.)

In this age of vcr's I don't give a damn if they put the good stuff on to fill the overnight hours. I'd be delighted to set the tape to run from 1-8am. Show the pornography in prime time, but for god's sakes re-run the ESPN Latin American feed that you already have in the can in your off hours. It's not fair.

And they are only showing ONE MENS SEMIFINAL??? CHRIST - And they wonder why they are the MOST HATED NETWORK in America. Why don't JMac, Mary, PMac, etc. get together a company to buy the rights, put it on USA & do it right. They invariably know which are the interesting matches & which are just the names, or even worse merely the Americans,as if someone cared. There aren't any Americans to watch now. Okay, fine, that's the way it is - now let's watch interesting tennis. Don't show Roddick just 'cuz he's American when his tennis is a one-dimensional bore. They didn't even show Safin-O. Rochus @AO, and Safin never even broke Rochus' serve. Mary & John would have known to show that. Hell, they didn't even show Roger-Guga last yr. The guys making the decisions @ESPN don't know or care anything about tennis & it shows. I'll believe someone there has grown a brain when I see it.

El Legenda
05-19-2005, 04:34 AM
ESPN CLASSICS? i dont get that channel.

Scotso
05-19-2005, 07:14 AM
At least they're going to have more live coverage. Hopefully they'll show good matches and not just the Americans.

El Legenda
05-19-2005, 08:49 AM
90% will be American / 5% Maria/ 5% Roger

Whistleway
05-19-2005, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the excellent list, smucav.

Socket
05-19-2005, 02:10 PM
ESPN CLASSICS? i dont get that channel.
Join the crowd. I think this is a trend, sadly, with ESPN moving tennis from its most watched and most available channel (ESPN) to ESPN2 and now to Classic, which many viewers don't get, unless they pay for an expensive digital package. I'd have to lay out another $50 a month for it. I think that in a few years, tennis will only be on ESPN Classic.

uNIVERSE mAN
05-20-2005, 04:50 AM
It's ridiculous that ESPN has overdone the locals coverage so much that you're hoping they fuck off early out of the tournament.

njnetswill
05-21-2005, 09:49 PM
Luckily...I DO get ESPN Classic, but being on the West coast of the United States...the airtimes are mainly in the wee hours of the morning. :mad:

Jennay
05-21-2005, 09:52 PM
Somebody's an optimist if they think F***ESPN will actually show tennis. It's usually selling deodorant & pornography - at least in America. Latin Americans are lucky - you get to see real tennis, we're stuck w/the trash. Every match of the people you never wanted to see in the first place - Wms(es), Roddick, Agassi - of whom I've seen enough - & ShriekerBitch. I'd watch paint dry before I'd watch any of them... While in Latin America, they get to see Federer, Coria, Safin, the Belgians & anything else interesting that a tennis lover would actually want to see. (And it's broadcast in English.)

In this age of vcr's I don't give a damn if they put the good stuff on to fill the overnight hours. I'd be delighted to set the tape to run from 1-8am. Show the pornography in prime time, but for god's sakes re-run the ESPN Latin American feed that you already have in the can in your off hours. It's not fair.

And they are only showing ONE MENS SEMIFINAL??? CHRIST - And they wonder why they are the MOST HATED NETWORK in America. Why don't JMac, Mary, PMac, etc. get together a company to buy the rights, put it on USA & do it right. They invariably know which are the interesting matches & which are just the names, or even worse merely the Americans,as if someone cared. There aren't any Americans to watch now. Okay, fine, that's the way it is - now let's watch interesting tennis. Don't show Roddick just 'cuz he's American when his tennis is a one-dimensional bore. They didn't even show Safin-O. Rochus @AO, and Safin never even broke Rochus' serve. Mary & John would have known to show that. Hell, they didn't even show Roger-Guga last yr. The guys making the decisions @ESPN don't know or care anything about tennis & it shows. I'll believe someone there has grown a brain when I see it.
:worship:

Jennay
05-21-2005, 09:53 PM
Join the crowd. I think this is a trend, sadly, with ESPN moving tennis from its most watched and most available channel (ESPN) to ESPN2 and now to Classic, which many viewers don't get, unless they pay for an expensive digital package. I'd have to lay out another $50 a month for it. I think that in a few years, tennis will only be on ESPN Classic.
A sad thought. :sad:

KoOlMaNsEaN
05-21-2005, 10:22 PM
since its on espn classic tsn wont show it :mad:

DJ dropshot
05-21-2005, 10:42 PM
The good news is that it looks like the other mens SF is on NBC

Roger The Great
05-22-2005, 02:39 AM
since its on espn classic tsn wont show it :mad:

TSN is planning 4-5 hours of coverage every weekday.

(http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/tv_schedule.asp?sport=TENNIS)

shirgan
05-22-2005, 09:50 AM
what about the tennis channel?
is it any good?
isn't it going to show tennis from roland grarros?

lunahielo
05-22-2005, 11:47 AM
The Tennis Channel doesn't have the broadcasting rights to Roland Garros. :(

shirgan
05-22-2005, 12:00 PM
The Tennis Channel doesn't have the broadcasting rights to Roland Garros. :(

oh

but is it usually any good?
I don't live in the US but I hardly ever hear about their broadcast it's always ESPN this and ESPN that. As if ESPN has the rights to all the tennis events or something.

DJ dropshot
05-22-2005, 12:41 PM
The tennis channel showed all day every day of the last several clay tournies incl. Rome and Hamburg. It was heaven...

Devotee
05-22-2005, 01:16 PM
U.S. Roland Garros t.v. schedule (EDT):

NBC:
[Tuesday, May 24 John McEnroe gives a preview of the French Open tennis championship on the Today show.]
Saturday, May 28 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. live
Sunday, May 29 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. live
Friday, June 3 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. live
Saturday, June 4 9:00 am. to 12:30 p.m. live
Sunday, June 5 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. live



BE CAREFUL WITH NBC, ESPECIALLY JUNE 3. NBC OFTEN BROADCASTS AT 10:00 A.M. OR WHATEVER FOR ALL TIME ZONES.
For example, Central time U.S. may not be 9:00 A.M. June 3 but instead may be 10:00 A.M.

ketibeti
05-22-2005, 07:44 PM
God Blesssss smucav!!!

ghost story
05-22-2005, 09:31 PM
Maybe I'm just not being picky but - any tennis coverage is better than none. Sure it may be the same faces repeated over and over again but one of the Americans can't constantly be on court all of the time and if ESPN wants to keep with their 'live' status coverage, they'll have to show others.

That's just my two cents and thanks for posting the schedule!

jmp
05-22-2005, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the schedule, smucav! :yeah: I'm going to print it out right now and put it next to the TV. :D

:wavey: Welcome to all the new fans posting on MTF! The more the merrier!

I agree that ANY tennis is great to have. I think this RG will be HOT because there are so many interesting story lines - Safin, Federer, Nadal, Coria, Gaudio, Nalbandian, JHH, Kimmie, Serena, The Russians. It's going to be great! BRING IT OOOONNNNN!

RAFA! :dance:

MARAT!! :banana:

jackieglover
05-23-2005, 03:01 AM
Anybody the order of matches ESPN will be showing on classic today?

Booshie
05-23-2005, 04:13 AM
Scrolling on the bottom of ESPN Classic it said that coverage started at 5 AM ET with Davenport and Federer, and continued at 9 AM ET with Venus Williams and Henman. That's all I know for now. :)

jackieglover
05-23-2005, 05:05 AM
Scrolling on the bottom of ESPN Classic it said that coverage started at 5 AM ET with Davenport and Federer, and continued at 9 AM ET with Venus Williams and Henman. That's all I know for now. :)

Thanks, I'm not going to watch all night then hoping for Moya/Martin and Grosjean/Monaco :lol:

naiwen
05-23-2005, 07:29 AM
Too bad I don't have ESPN classic.
:fiery:

TenHound
05-24-2005, 06:18 AM
Problem w/tennis channel, aside from the fact that, although I live in a big city in a warm state, it's not available to us.

Does anyone get ESPN Deportes? They did a much better job of IW, showing all of Federer's matches, but then it wasn't available. F***ESPN is advertising that it's now available, but then it depends on yr. cable system. The webpage shows picture of Coria, whereas F***ESPN shows Pandy, so it seems they might really cover players who matter. Any info. would be appreciated...be a bummer to subscribe & get the same garbage, but in a language you don't understand!!

smucav
05-25-2005, 09:42 PM
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=13016&bannerregion=The Tennis Week Interview: ESPN VP Len DeLuca
By Richard Pagliaro
05/26/2005

Paris is six hours ahead of the east coast time zone, but ESPN2 and ESPN Classic's combined live coverage of Roland Garros has kept American viewers so close to the action even the most sedentary couch potatoes may be tempted to check their socks for stains of red clay.

For the first two days of the French Open ESPN Classic and ESPN2 have offered nearly 18 hours of live coverage starting daily at 5 a.m. Eastern time on ESPN Classic and continuing to ESPN2 at 10 a.m. Contrast this with the network's 2004 Roland Garros coverage when seeing a live match could sometimes seem as easy as playing leap frog with the Eiffel Tower.

ESPN's transformation from Roland Garros poseur to power has been as surprising as seeing Greg Rusedski reach the French Open final while wearing snow shoes.

So what's the story?

Has someone spiked the company coffee pot with Merlot? Did programming executives experience a tennis revelation on the trip to Lourdes? Has Rafael Nadal's Napoleon-style pants and Andy Roddick's signing with French sportswear manufacturer Lacoste triggered a French fascination among fashion-conscious ESPN execs?

ESPN senior vice president, programming strategy Len DeLuca sat down with Tennis Week from Paris to discuss the network's tennis coverage today. The interview comes a year after DeLuca's 2004 Roland Garros interview with TW in which he defended ESPN's programming decisions that left the many tennis fans as bent out of shape as bent of out shape as a racquet frame contorted from a face-first collision into the court courtesy of Marat Safin (to read DeLuca's 2004 Roland Garros interview please click this Len DeLuca link).

The primary reason for ESPN's immense improvement, according to the network, is in establishing ESPN2 as its Grand Slam home. Unburdened by potential programming conflicts with ESPN has enabled the network to televise more live tennis this year.

"We certainly have a lot more flexibility with ESPN2 than with ESPN and a lot of flexibility with ESPN Classic," DeLuca said. "What we will try to do is treat this as a live event going back across the pond. We've been 90 percent live the first two days and that's evidence this is a function of our experience."

Locating the correct channel for French Open coverage was once as challenging as following the crazily careening ball in a Fabrice Santoro match. It was channel surfing amid a tennis typhoon as coverage changed channels — alternating between ESPN and ESPN2 — as frequently as Serena Williams changed her on-court wardrobe.

Since the start of the Australian Open in January, most American tennis fans are aware that ESPN2 is the desired destination for Grand Slam tennis. Another factor is that while ESPN has been televising tennis for 26 years, it appears to be finally fully recognize that while tennis may never match major sports in the ratings it produces, it can still succeed as a niche sport on television if it is treated like any other major sporting event — a competitive drama that is most fulfilling for fans when televised live.

Whereas ESPN once seemed to embrace live tennis coverage with the enthusiasm of a vampire visiting a tanning salon, now the network seems to see the light shed by a powerful source — ratings. DeLuca reports ESPN2's ratings for the opening day of Roland Garros increased 60 percent over the first day of play in 2004. The ratings rise began with the networks live coverage from the Australian Open where Serena Williams' 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over top-seeded Lindsay Davenport registered a 1.5 rating and was viewed in an average 1.35 million households making it ESPN2's highest-rated and most-viewed tennis telecast in history. That result came two days after Williams' dramatic semifinal conquest of Maria Sharapova drew an average audience of 1 million households — making it the second most viewed tennis telecast in ESPN2 history.

In the bottom line business of television those ratings can translate to revenue in increased ad rates as sponsors can reach consumers in greater numbers.

The numbers are dwarfed by the positive response ESPN2's live coverage has created in long-time viewers.

"ESPN's coverage is 10,000 percent better than last year," says Tennis Week reader Janie Merion, one of several viewers who placed the ESPN complaint line on their speed dial after the network's inexplicable decision to televise the 2004 Roland Garros quarterfinal between Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati on tape delay seven hours after the match was completed. "I just thank them very much on behalf of tennis aficionados everywhere (I don't mind speaking for us all :). And I beg them to keep this up! At last they are treating tennis as they do all other sports: live, live, live until the sun sets and action stops in Paris!"

Fans aren't the only ones benefiting from the decision — the production staff, announcers and analysts have all been near the top of their games during the first three days of the season's second major.

"What it's done is invigorate our talent and our production. Because what we've done in the first two days is we went 18 out of 20 hours live," DeLuca said.

ESPN2 covered the court quicker than Coria throughout the first two days of play. Yesterday, the network not only televised Andre Agassi's painful opening-round exit, it took its audience live to Agassi's press conference so viewers could hear the eight-time Grand Slam champion describe the dilemma he faces in playing with a sciatic nerve problem. Contrast that to a year ago when the network's decision to provide a tape-delay telecast of French qualifier Jerome Haehnel's stunning upset of Agassi in the opening round rather than joining the match live as it was unfolding left viewers feeling as if someone had pulled the plug on the City of Light.

Today, ESPN Classic opened the day with live coverage of Venus Williams' three-set victory, joined Elena Dementieva's match live when the fourth seed was forced into a tiebreak, then went back to Venus. ESPN2 hit several highlights including 18-year-old French sensation Richard Gasquet, top-ranked Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (preceding Nadal's match with a compelling shot of the Spanish slugger bouncing around in the hallway beneath the stadium like a boxer ready to rumble, a point noted by Mary Carillo and Dick Enberg), which set the stage for the highly-anticipated Nadal vs. Gasquet showdown later this week. The network, which once caused some viewers to curse its coverage, even squeezed in Tim Henman's audible obscenity and his post-match press conference.

What was once a Parisian pittance has become a French feast for tennis fans, who are hoping ESPN2 keeps the party going throughout the French fortnight.

Tennis Week: Len, has establishing ESPN2 as the primary home for your Grand Slam coverage been the key component to televising so much live tennis both in Paris and Melbourne?

Len DeLuca: Yes, absolutely because with ESPN2 we can have a full day of tennis and also the flexibility to expand our windows when we need it. It's clear that ESPN2 now resonates with tennis fans; they know to come there first for the Grand Slams and what you've seen since our announcement that we're going to do this in '04 is that nearly all of our major tennis events — the Grand Slams we cover, the U.S. Open Series, the Masters Series — nearly all of it in 2005 is on ESPN2. In 2006, all of it will be. Plus, what we've been able to do with ESPN2, starting at 10 a.m., is go live out of Europe with the French for these five days. That's just an added benefit. We haven't moved anything that was on ESPN2 to Classic, we've added hours and taken those five hours in morning, which is when play actually starts here at 11 a.m. And what it's done is invigorate our talent and our production. Because what we've done in the first two days is we went 18 out of 20 hours live. And out of the 10 hours scheduled each day — five on Classic and five on ESPN2 — we were able to have a Dickens-like opening "the best of days and the worst of days" watching Agassi. Having the match live, having the press conference live and then being able to re-air it because it was such a compelling story later on Tuesday.

Tennis Week: How much of the country does ESPN Classic reach?

Len DeLuca: ESPN Classic is currently in 56 million homes, similar to the numbers of ESPN News, which is in about 45 million homes. Obviously ESPN2 and ESPN are in 98 and 99 million homes so ESPN2 has caught up to ESPN and ESPN2 has been around since 1993. But the point is: yes it is added coverage, no it is not in as many homes as ESPN2 and yes we urge the tennis fan, since we are adding this coverage, if they feel compelled to let their cable operator know that this is the new ESPN Classic, which is doing a combination of the Davis Cup, which you know we did live on ESPN Classic, the CIAA historically black college conference basketball tournament we did on ESPN Classic. There will be significant events of historical importance — a Grand Slam is an event of historical importance — to put on Classic. And that is our strategy now that Classic is in its eighth year controlled by ESPN.

Tennis Week: Len, will you consider adopting this approach — starting with early-morning coverage on Classic live before switching live to ESPN2 — for your Wimbledon coverage?

Len DeLuca: Remember, Richard, you and I have talked about how we learn and we let the game come to us and then hopefully make good decisions. The Australian Open and the difficult decision we made to go live in the second week on a 16-hour difference. Obviously, we will view the ratings and look at the flow of how that impacts our overall broadcast. But I would say that ESPN Classic is definitely a new piece in our arsenal and we're delighted that all three — the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the people at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club — have reacted positively to our suggestion to use ESPN Classic. Yes, we will use it to the best of our advantage in London as we have here so far, knock on wood, three days in Paris.

Tennis Week: Did the fact that the ratings from Australia were so strong for the live matches, particularly the Serena matches, which set ratings records, influence any programming decisions here?

Len DeLuca: What we're finding out is even with extreme time differences — as we experienced in Australia, which makes it very hard to go live — but with European events if we have the platforms and we certainly have a lot more flexibility with ESPN2 than with ESPN and a lot of flexibility with ESPN Classic, then what we will try to do is treat this as a live event going back across the pond. We've been 90 percent live the first two days and that's evidence this is a function of our experience. We had a good experience in Melbourne, we're having a good experience so far in Paris as the American broadcaster of record. Sadly, we're having a little bit more success than the American players are having (laughs), but nevertheless Lindsay and Venus were challenged today, but fought back and won in tough, three-set matches. That's good tennis, that's good drama. We're also following the stories of Federer and Nadal.

Tennis Week: I've been grateful for the fact you guys have also made an effort to televise Gasquet's matches as well building the story toward his showdown with Nadal.

Len DeLuca: Gasquet is the local player and he generates a lot of enthusiasm here. The French fans are very smart tennis fans. So far this is a marvelous venue to do a world-class event.

Tennis Week: I remember talking to you during the Australian Open and you commented about the great working relationship with Tennis Australia and how they tried to accommodate ESPN's requests in setting their daily match schedule. Is that the case in Paris? Do they listen to your requests for match times?

Len DeLuca: Michel Grach of the French Tennis Federation is a marvelous partner for us at the French Open. We're fortunate that we have three guys running television at the Australian, French and Wimbledon, who are delightful people to work with. Daniel Chambon in Australia and John Rowlinson at Wimbledon, what a star, all of these guys are experienced television people, who are now working on the other side of the aisle for Tennis Australia, French Federation and All England Club. They are balancing a lot of international broadcasters and they have been very sympathetic and excellent partners for ESPN.

Tennis Week: Does the fact that ESPN has International Rights for Roland Garros and televises the tournament in Latin America, the Middle East, etc. give you more influence in terms of scheduling decisions?

Len DeLuca: I think what it does is suggest our tennis commitment is global. On the French we announced a huge international deal going through 2008. As you know, we made an agreement with Tennis Australia to extend our domestic deal with them through 2011. And now we'll sit down with the French because this deal, domestically, is up next year. Our Wimbledon deal is through 2007. We're making commitments to tennis because we're very serious about establishing us daily across the board on all platforms — not just television deals. These are deals for television, mobile phone use, for broadband, for dot com — for all of ESPN's platforms as the destination for tennis in America.

Tennis Week: Considering ESPN, in its various incarnations, is televising the French Open to so many countries, how do you coordinate all the broadcast teams there?

Len DeLuca: It's a great mix. Here, we are doing ESPN Deportes, which is the United States' Spanish language network.

Tennis Week: I love watching that channel because the talent is so striking.

Len DeLuca: I'll let that pass. But seriously Richard, take a look at what we're doing with ESPN Deportes. We are taking the ESPN International Latin American network feed, which is a totally different set of matches than what ESPN2 or Classic is doing because they will go for the Argentines, they will go for the incredibly amount of Spanish players who dominate this tournament. Literally, fans in the United States get three networks covering the French Open: ESPN Classic for five hours, ESPN2 for five hours and ESPN Deportes for its entire schedule and they are all showing different things.

Tennis Week: This coming weekend both NBC and ESPN will be televising Roland Garros. Does NBC have contractual restriction that gives them weekend priority for live matches?

Len DeLuca: No. It's the same as Wimbledon. They have a contract in which they pay a good rights fee for the over the air domestic television rights, theirs is a domestic deal in the conservative way of doing things. And they have the right naturally — and they should have the right — to select matches and then we follow. That's only fair and we have an excellent working relationship with John McGuiness, the NBC coordinating producer for tennis. He's a star and we work closely with him and it's a seamless relationship. The tennis relationship between NBC and ESPN is solid.

Tennis Week: So this weekend when NBC comes on and they want to televise a match live, you could theoretically come back and show that later if you wanted?

Len DeLuca: Of course.

Tennis Week: I've been impressed with the programming decisions we've seen from ESPN the first two days in Paris. You went to Agassi's press conference live yesterday after the painful loss. You started with Venus live today, went live to Dementieva when it appeared she was in trouble, then went back to Venus. You hit Gasquet, Federer and Nadal in order today then jumped to Davenport when she was down 1-3 in the second and you even squeezed in Henman's audible obscenity and his press conference. Who's calling the shots?

Len DeLuca: (Producer) Bill Bonnell, he's in the truck along with Jed Drake who is our executive producer and his boss and Jed and Bill love tennis. So with the two of them making the calls that's how we're able to go from match to match to press conference to studio because we staffed this with nine announcers and cap it off with the night show with Suzy Kolber. It's unprecedented in the history of American tennis coverage.

Tennis Week: The feedback we've received from people on your coverage has been tremendous. Most tennis fans I speak to are loving it and believe it has been a big improvement over past years. What is the response you're receiving?

Len DeLuca: The most important feedback — the first-day ratings — were up 60 percent over last year on ESPN2. That's opening day so that's just one day, but that's the best kind of market research you can do. We're establishing ESPN as the destination network for the tennis fan in America.

Tennis Week: The big question is: how do you keep Cliff and Patrick out of the cafes at night and on the straight and narrow?

Len DeLuca: I just have to go with them as a chaperone — that's all I'm going to tell you.

Tennis Week: Listen Len, I know we've had some disputes and disagreements in the past, but I respect the fact you've always stood up and answered the questions and I really appreciate the fact the coverage has improved tremendously, in my mind, in Melbourne and Paris this year. Great job.

Len DeLuca: I appreciate you guys give the same effort whether you agree with us or disagree with us and I respect that as well. We're establishing ESPN2 as the destination network for the tennis fan in America. I hope you can let people know that. It's something we've worked on hard and something we will continue to emphasize and ESPN Classic is tennis pastry.

smucav
06-03-2005, 01:31 AM
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=13061&bannerregion=NBC To Televise Federer-Nadal French Open Semi On Friday
By Tennis Week
06/02/2005

NBC has the telecast ticket to the marquee match of the French Open fortnight. NBC will telecast the semifinal clash between top-seeded Roger Federer and fourth-seeded Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal starting at 10 a.m. on Friday. The match will be telecast live on the East Coast and on tape-delay in all other time zones.

In a marquee match that has all the atmosphere of a final, Federer and Nadal, who celebrates his 19th birthday on Friday, will meet in the Roland Garros semifinals with the winner favored to capture his first Roland Garros title. The highly-anticipated semifinal showdown between two of the top shot makers in the sport should create an electrifying atmosphere in the City of Light.

"(To) play the semifinal against the No. 1 is unbelievable for me," said Nadal, who will carry a 22-match winning streak into the semifinals. "I think today's match has really given me confidence to play against Federer, and it really has given me a lot of confidence. I know he's playing very well. I know it's going to be a complicated match."

Continuing his quest to join Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Andre Agassi as the sixth man to claim all four Grand Slam championships, Federer defeated Romania's Victor Hanescu, 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the Roland Garros final four for the first time in his career. The four-time Grand Slam champion has not surrendered a set in his five tournament victories and has surprised himself with his rapid run through the draw.

"I have the feeling everything is going fast, a bit too fast, and I'm not used to that in a way," Federer said. "I have now two days ahead of me to ponder over things and see what can happen for the future, and I hope to be in great shape for that match against Nadal."

Host Ted Robinson, noted New York Mets play-by-play announcer who covers three of the four majors working for NBC and USA Network, will anchor NBC's coverage accompanied by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo, who partnered to capture the 1977 French Open mixed doubles title, and Tennis Hall of Famer Bud Collins.

"It's going to be an incredible match," said McEnroe. "Right now, I think if Federer played Nadal on clay he would lose to him six out of 10 times. But Federer is getting his feet nicely under the table at this French Open, which hasn't always been the case."

Nadal is bidding to become the first man to take home the title in his Roland Garros debut since Mats Wilander did it in 1982.

Prior to the tournament, McEnroe predicted the winner of the Justine Henin-Hardenne-Maria Sharapova quarterfinal would win the women's title. Henin-Hardenne scored a straight-sets victory over the Wimbledon winner and will take on 21st-seeded Mary Pierce in Saturday's Roland Garros women's final, which will be telecast live by NBC starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

NBC Roland Garros Schedule

Friday, June 3rd, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Eastern — Men's Semifinals: (1) Federer vs. (4) Nadal
Saturday, June 4th, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Eastern — Women's Final: (10) Henin-Hardenne vs. (21) Pierce
Sunday, June 5th 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Eastern — Men's Finalhttp://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=13062&bannerregion=ESPN2 To Televise French Open Men's Semis On Tape Delay
By Tennis Week
06/02/2005

ESPN2 will televise both Roland Garros men's semifinals starting 4 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, rather than one match at 1 p.m. and a highlights show at 6 p.m as previously announced.

NBC will telecast the highly-anticipated semifinal showdown between top-seeded Roger Federer and fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal starting at 10 a.m. live on the East Coast and on tape delay in all other time zones.

ESPN2 will televise Argentina's Mariano Puerta vs. 12th-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko on tape delay, followed by Nadal vs. Federer. ESPN2's coverage is listed as 4 to 8 p.m., but will be extended if necessary to show both matches in their entirety. ESPN2's coverage of the LPGA ShopRite Classic will now be three hours, from 1 to 4 p.m., instead of 4 to 6 p.m.

Cliff Drysdale will call the first match with Patrick McEnroe, who will team with Dick Enberg for Nadal - Federer. Chris Fowler will serve as on-site studio host with analysts Brad Gilbert and Pam Shriver. Both Puerta and Davydenko won five-set matches in the quarterfinals and are making their debut in a Grand Slam semifinal. Federer is seeking a career Grand Slam with a win in Paris, while Nadal — who will celebrate his 19th birthday tomorrow — is the tour's hottest player, winning 22 consecutive matches, all on clay, including Masters Series titles in Monte Carlo and Rome.

This weekend, the tournament will conclude with one-hour SportsCenter at the French Open specials on ESPN2 immediately following NBC's coverage of the women's final on Saturday, June 4th (Justine Henin-Hardenne vs. Mary Pierce) and the men's final on Sunday, June 5th.

Through the first 10 days of ESPN2's coverage from Paris, the audience was 15 percent larger than last year. ESPN2 averaged 336,000 households for its match coverage through Tuesday, up from 294,000 in 2004. All but two telecasts experienced an increase in viewership when compared to the equivalent telecast last year.

In addition, ESPN Classic, which aired the French Open live last Monday - Friday from 5 - 10 a.m., enjoyed an audience more than four times what it had registered the first three weeks of May. The network averaged 71,000 households, up from 17,000. (ESPN Classic began receiving daily ratings this year so comparisons to last year are unavailable.)