Australian Open coverage begins Jan. 14th

January 7, 2013

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel’s sixth year of televising the Australian Open, the first major tournament of the annual tennis season, will begin Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. ET. The network plans for more than 30 hours of live match telecasts during the two-week competition again this year, with more than 180 hours of dedicated tournament coverage overall. In addition to 10 consecutive nights of live prime-time matches running into the middle of the second week (complete schedule follows), Tennis Channel viewers will again be able to tune in throughout the competition for encore match coverage and a sense of where things stand as the tournament progresses.

New for 2013 is a retooled format for daily highlight and encore-match show Australian Open Today. Previously a single programming block that ran once in the morning and again each afternoon, this year’s version will feature two daily editions, one dedicated to the tournament’s most recent day session and one to the most recent night session. This nearly doubles the amount of first-run Australian Open Today programming, from 41 hours in 2012 to an estimated 72 hours in 2013.

In 2008, when Tennis Channel began carrying the Australian Open, it became the first U.S. television network to show all five Australian Open finals: mixed doubles and men’s and women’s singles and doubles — a pattern it has repeated each January. The network’s live schedule begins with first-round play and continues through the singles quarterfinals, wrapping with the men’s and women’s doubles finals and mixed doubles championship. Same-day men’s and women’s singles finals encores round out the other two finals, and Tennis Channel will air same-day men’s and women’s singles semifinal encores as well.

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.

Australian Open On-Air Talent

Tennis Channel’s 2013 Australian Open on-air team is the largest in network history Down Under. Sportscaster Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) and Hall of Fame former player Martina Navratilova (@Martina) have been the faces of every Grand Slam covered by Tennis Channel since the network’s first French Open in 2007. They will return to Melbourne in 2013, with Macatee handling play-by-play again and Navratilova on analyst’s detail. Emmy Award-winning announcer Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and commentator Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) are also back. Gimelstob’s thorough understanding of tennis history and the game’s challenges today, along with his close ties with players and the sport’s governing bodies, have made his insight among the most sought after tennis.

Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), who won the Australian Open singles title in 2000 and reached the doubles final six times, will lend her championship perspective to Tennis Channel’s booth in Australia while one of that country’s own, Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs), will handle specials reports and vignettes. Stubbs won the tournament’s doubles crown in 2000 and holds more women’s doubles championships overall than any player in Australia’s rich tennis history. Reporter Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will also appear on the network in Melbourne this year. His columns for Sports Illustrated are among the most read in tennis.

Digital Coverage

During the Australian Open renowned tennis reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) will provide regular columns on Tennis Channel’s Web site, In addition to real-time scoring, video highlights, interviews, Australian Open Today clips and an interactive Australian Open draw, the site will offer the exclusive Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game. This year the game has been upgraded with new features and a more user-friendly interface. Visitors also have the chance to enter the network’s Australian Open sweepstakes, for the chance to win a trip to next year’s event.

Beyond its own Web site, Tennis Channel engages with viewers and tennis fans on Facebook (, Twitter (, YouTube ( and Viddy (

Tennis Channel’s Live Australian Open Match Schedule (all times ET)

Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule (all times ET)

Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today will air daily the first 10 days of the tournament, from Monday, Jan. 14-Wednesday, Jan. 23.

On Monday, Jan. 14, the day-session edition of the show will air from 7 a.m.-11 a.m., followed by the night-session edition from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. During the remainder of the first week of play, from Tuesday, Jan. 15-Friday, Jan. 18, the show will air in two back-to-back segments representing the day and night sessions, from 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, will offer the day-session edition from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and night-session edition from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., followed by an encore presentation from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, also will feature a day-session edition from 7 a.m.-10 a.m., with a night-session edition from 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

The second week of Australian Open Today will run from Monday, Jan. 21-Wednesday, Jan. 23, and generally include two back-to-back editions of the day and night sessions, from 6 a.m.-10 a.m. and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. An exception will occur on Monday, Jan. 21, with an encore presentation capping the afternoon from 2 p.m.-6 p.m.