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http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2007/10/usa-to-drop-us-open-espnttc-could-take.html[b/]

USA to drop U.S. Open; ESPN/TTC could take over.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports the USA Network "is expected to shed its money-losing coverage of United States Open tennis as soon as its deal ends" in 2008.

USA, which has telecast the U.S. Open since 1984, is eliminating sports from its schedule. The network allowed The Masters to leave for ESPN after declining to pay Augusta National a new rights fee over the summer, and is now focusing more on original programming.

The loss of USA Network will leave the USTA looking for a new broadcast partner. On possibility is TNT; the Turner-owned network had the cable rights to Wimbledon early in this decade and was in the running to acquire cable rights to The Masters.

More likely is ESPN. The network already has the rights to the other three Grand Slams through 2011. However, other programming commitments have deterred ESPN from making a play on the Open in the past. ESPN's Len DeLuca:

The problem ... is that the U.S. Open always occurs at a time when we are flush with college football and, depending on the weekend, the Little League World Series, the X-Games and the commencement of the NFL season, which we are heavily involved in as well. So we love the U.S. Open, we will always talk about the U.S. Open, but there are scheduling hurdles for ESPN's present networks that are unique to that Grand Slam that are not present in the other three.

If the U.S. Open were to go to ESPN, there would be a need to split cable rights. Starting next year, ESPN and The Tennis Channel will share the cable rights for the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. An ESPN U.S. Open bid would likely include TTC in some capacity.

In February, after the announcement of an ESPN/TTC agreement to jointly broadcast the Australian and French Opens, neither ESPN Executive VP of Content John Skipper nor Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon would deny that the networks would go after U.S. Open rights. In an interview with Tennis Week, Skipper said of the U.S. Open: "It is a spectacular event. It is an event we love, but those guys [the USTA] have existing agreements."

In the same Tennis Week story, writer Richard Pagliaro says "the level of interactivity between the USTA, ESPN and TTC ... has now reached a level where it appears almost a foregone conclusion that a U.S. Open deal will eventually be done."

If ESPN and The Tennis Channel take over the rights for the U.S. Open, tennis will have its most consistent television schedule. All four Grand Slams, and several other lower-tier events, will air on ESPN/TTC with CBS or NBC airing weekend coverage. A consistent television schedule can sometimes lead to at least a slight jump in television ratings, which might soften the blow of losing a cable powerhouse like USA.
 

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Not good for American tennis fans.
USA provided all court coverage which meant if there was a good match on an outer court and there were cameras a viewer at home got to see some of that match.

TNT would be a very good choice since I believe they would continue in the USA Network tradition of covering the Open.

I agree with the article though and think it'll go to ESPN/TTC. I don't have TTC as an option in my cable package so this would actually cut back coverage for me.
 

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Hopefully this happens. Icing on the cake would be NBC/CBS staying the hell away until the final, but that probably won't happen....
 

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Terrible news to read. USA has the best Grand Slam coverage.
 

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well if and when the time comes, just order TTC


USA was solid, but ESPN/TTC can fill the shoes
 

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well if and when the time comes, just order TTC


USA was solid, but ESPN/TTC can fill the shoes
The problem is even you're willing to pay for TTC, it's not available in everywhere.


ESPN will have more tape delay and showing mostly US players.
 

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The problem is even you're willing to pay for TTC, it's not available in everywhere.


ESPN will have more tape delay and showing mostly US players.


and probably mostly U.S. women too - Venus, Serena, maybe even Davenport. :banghead:
 

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Noooooooo.... :bigcry:
 

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Terrible news :(:bigcry:
This was the only GS we had a decent coverage of! :sobbing:
 

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USA network got a pretty good coverage. sad to see that go
ESPN is a disgrace. i don't know why they even bother buying rigthts for "live" tennis coverage if they are not intested in showing live tennis.(all the time we see on espn taped shit of shriekapova or james blake or andy roddick.)
I hope TTC takes over the rights.
 

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USA did a fantastic job covering the Open all these years. One thing we have to remember about ESPN's coverage of Wimby and RG is that the time difference plays a big part in all the tape delayed nonsense. I don't think you'd see that with the Open.
 

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USA did a fantastic job covering the Open all these years. One thing we have to remember about ESPN's coverage of Wimby and RG is that the time difference plays a big part in all the tape delayed nonsense. I don't think you'd see that with the Open.
I would not count on it. When ESPN had the coverage of the Masters Cup in Houston, it showed the night matches on tape-delay.
 

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Pray that TTC gets this somehow. And then switch to satellite if your cable company still refuses to pick it up by 2009.
 
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