Television coverage of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open, the most attended tennis tournament outside of the four major events, will be aired on ABC, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, it was announced recently by tournament director Steve Simon.
The tournament, to be held March 7-20 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, will be televised on ESPN2 on Friday, March 18, and on ABC on Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20. Both networks, which signed a multi-year agreement with the tournament, will carry coverage for four hours each day. In addition, ESPN3.com will offer live streaming of the action from Saturday, March 12 through the finals on Sunday, March 20.
"We're very pleased to bring this top-tier event back to ESPN and to have worked with ATP Media to expand the footprint of their events from coast-to-coast," said Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions. "ESPN3.com continues to grow as a destination for tennis fans seeking the best players and events, and this agreement reaffirms ESPN3.com as the unquestioned home for live professional tennis."
"We are extremely excited that we will be able to showcase our final weekend of tennis at the BNP Paribas Open on ABC and ESPN2," said Simon. "Moving to ABC and ESPN2, continuing our relationship with Tennis Channel and having ESPN3.com stream all produced world feed matches, will allow us to provide consistent match coverage and ensure that viewers around the country can follow all the action."
Tennis Channel, which signed a five-year agreement with the tournament, will cover the BNP Paribas Open from Saturday, March 12 through Thursday, March 17, for a total of eight days and 75 hours of live action, with more than 125 hours of encore coverage.
"Tennis Channel viewers expect to find the best players in the sport on our network every single week," said David Scott, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel. "This multi-year agreement with the BNP Paribas Open is an important part of that programming strategy, and ensures that our audience will see the elite men's and women's tennis stars at one of the sport's premier events each spring. We're excited about the opportunity to put so much of this tournament on television."
About the BNP Paribas Open
The BNP Paribas Open is the first major tennis event of the season on U.S. soil. It is the largest combined ATP World Tour and WTA two week event in the world. Last year more than 339,000 people attended the event. Ticket and Hotel packages can be purchased by logging onto www.bnpparibasopen.com, calling the Indian Wells box office, 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, or visiting the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA, 92210.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is one of the six strongest banks in the world* and the largest bank in the eurozone by deposits. With a presence in more than 80 countries and about 200,000 employees, including 160,000 in Europe, BNP Paribas is a leading European provider of financial services on a worldwide scale. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Retail Banking, the Group has four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the United States. BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending in Europe. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia. *Rated AA by Standard & Poor's i.e. 3rd rating on a scale of 22.
About BNP Paribas and Tennis
In 2010, BNP Paribas celebrated the 37th anniversary of its association with the tennis world. Since 1973, BNP Paribas has been actively involved in this sport, regularly increasing its support locally and internationally for professionals and amateurs, including families, schools and the community. In 2009, BNP Paribas became the title sponsor of the BNP Paribas Open, the largest combined ATP World Tour and WTA Tour event outside of the Grand Slams located in Indian Wells, California. Over the years, BNP Paribas has become the world's number 1 tennis sponsor. The bank has been the official sponsor of Roland Garros for 35 years, title sponsor of the Davis Cup since 2001, the Fed Cup since 2005, the BNP Paribas Masters since 1986 and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia since 2006. BNP Paribas actively supports numerous other international competitions such as the WTA Bank of the West Classic in California and the Monte Carlo Masters Series.
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), Wimbledon since 2003 and the US Open since 2009.
In addition, broadband network ESPN3.com, now in 65 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, usually with additional, exclusive matches.
About Tennis Channel
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV and DISH Network.