AO Coverage Begins Monday, January 18

January 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate tennis lifestyle, will begin its annual Australian Open coverage on Monday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. ET. In addition to close to 30 hours of live or first-run match coverage at one of tennis’ four prestigious Grand Slam events, the network plans same-day repeats of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals again in 2010.

Moreover, Tennis Channel is bringing a new element to its third year of nightly prime-time Australian Open coverage. For the first time since it began covering the event in 2007, the network will offer live streamed matches on its Web site, Visitors can access the site free of charge during Tennis Channel’s on-air coverage windows to select from any one of three court feeds the first week of play, or an optional secondary feed the following week. In all, the network will offer 55 hours of live-match streams during the two-week competition. The additional broadband component is similar to Tennis Channel’s long-standing French Open viewer access, in which fans can jump from court to court at their discretion, or remain with their favorite players as the television network follows the Grand Slam action around the grounds. Online matches from Melbourne will be archived for on-demand viewing following their live stream.

The tournament is part of Tennis Channel’s ongoing Grand Slam alliance with ESPN, which offers audiences a near round-the-clock tournament experience at tennis’ major events. ESPN is producing all Australian Open coverage for both networks, which will cross-promote each other with each channel utilizing its own commentators.

Each morning at 8 a.m. ET Tennis Channel’s daily morning show Australian Open Today will once again bring U.S. viewers up to speed on everything that happened on the other side of the world while they were sleeping. The network plans 75 original hours of the six-hour recap show, offering highlights, previously unseen matches, original features and more.

The tournament marks the opening event in the network’s telecast lineup of all four Grand Slam events: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Australian Open On-Air Talent

Tennis Channel mainstay Bill Macatee will headline the play calling from Melbourne again this year, joined once more by primary network Grand Slam analyst Martina Navratilova. Navratilova, whose name conjures images of legendary on-court accomplishments, won more singles championships in her playing days than any professional tennis player in history. Also returning is veteran Tennis Channel play-by-play commentator Leif Shiras, and analyst and features reporter Justin Gimelstob. Former No. 1 doubles player Corina Morariu will roam the tournaments grounds, handling sideline and interview duties, and appearing in feature material.

“There are so many storylines at this Aussie Open, but the one that excites me the most is the Belgian one – how will Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin go?” said Navratilova. “I’m looking forward to heading down to Melbourne and getting things going again this year with Bill Macatee and Tennis Channel.”

More than its live and on-demand match streams, Tennis Channel’s Web site will keep online viewers up to speed with everything that happens in Melbourne during the two-week competition. will offer real-time scoring, Australian Open Today features, best-match highlights and the network’s exclusive Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game, as well as a chance to win a trip to the 2011 tournament via its “Garnier’s Colors of Australia” sweepstakes. There also will be blogs and columns from network regulars James LaRosa and Steve Flink.

Tennis Channel’s Live Australian Open Match Schedule

Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule

Australian Open Today airs Monday, Jan. 18 through Friday, Jan. 29. The show generally runs from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. Exceptions are (all times ET):