Tennis Channel delayed, won't broadcast San Jose, Memphis
By Matthew Cronin
The much ballyhooed launch of The Tennis Channel has been delayed again, this time at least until April.
As a result, The Tennis Channel will not broadcast coverage from two February tournaments it owns rights to _ San Jose and Memphis. The Tennis Channel is also unlikely to broadcast from two March tournaments it owns rights to _ Scottsdale and Delay Beach.
"While we wanted to get the channel up in San Jose, we never pinpointed an exact date. Although I don't want to give an exact date, broadcasting Monte Carlo (April 14-40) seems pretty doable," Tennis Channel president Steve Bellamy told tennisreporters.net, even though that he told Tennisweek.com last summer, "We're going to launch in December ."
The Tennis Channel owns the rights to '03 Tennis Masters Series tournaments in Europe, including Monte Carlo, Rome (May 5-11), Hamburg (May 12-18, Madrid (Oct. 13-19) and Paris (Oct. 27-Nov. 2).
Rumors have been circulating that the proposed 24-hour-a-day Tennis Channel is having funding problems, but Bellamy said that things are going swimmingly.
"We have significant investors in the Tennis Channel who are stratospherically wealthy. They release money based on certain benchmarks. Once we hit those benchmarks, the floodgates open."
The Tennis Channel, which already has deals with cable operators AOL Time Warner and NCTC, is currently negotiating with other companies such as San Diego and Orange County's Cox Cable and AT&T. Bellamy also said the company is fine-tuning satellite deals.
"From the beginning, people told me launching this winter was very optimistic, so I'm not upset about it," Bellamy said. "There are a lot of hurdles we have to jump over."
The Tennis Channel also owns rights to the WTA tournaments in Sarasota at the end of March, the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. in early April and the men's clay court tournament in Houston, Texas, at the end of April. Whether the company gets on the air and manages to send crews to broadcast those tournaments is in question.
The Tennis Channel plans to devote 40 percent of its content to live tournament tennis, 40 percent to instructional tennis, resorts and equipment telecasts and 20 percent to tennis news and player profiles.
i just want the channel to come to indianapolis comcast cable time warner whatever. if they have the rights to all the europe masters series then i'm screwed out of watching tennis until the next grand slam and i will be REALLY P.O.'ed about it. i don't like espn coverage but its better than no coverage at all.
Echoing the thoughts of, ESPN's drek is better than nothing. So far my cable carrier has NOT inked a deal with the Tennis Channel so if they snap up all the rights to not be shared with ESPN, USA, TNT, or Fox Sports Net, I think they'll be getting a lot more hate mail than they are already.
Thanks for the info.
My friend from Haiti came to visit me last week and he said he gets both eurosport and espn so do my cousins in Mexico. They absolutly loves eurosport for tennis and footbal (soccer). Now If Haiti can have eurosport why can't we?