Tennis Channel launches Racquet Bracket

June 22, 2015

LOS ANGELES – Tennis Channel is launching new preview show Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon, in its eighth year of Wimbledon Primetime coverage. Premiering Friday, June 26, 8 p.m. ET, the show will delve into the Wimbledon draw, with network analyst Tracy Austin along with special guest James Blake and commentators Leif Shiras and Steve Weissman, evaluating the many variables that could come into play at the oldest tournament in tennis history. Beginning on Opening Day, Monday, June 29, Tennis Channel will dedicate more than 200 hours to Wimbledon during its nightly three-and-half hour Wimbledon Primetime show. The program will air each evening of the two-week tournament, followed by immediate replays, which run throughout the night and into the morning. The network has 85 first-run Wimbledon Primetime hours in 2015, slated to begin the first evening of the competition at 4:30 p.m. ET.

“Tennis Channel has concentrated on providing viewers with immersive experiences and we are continuing to do so with the second installment of Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon,” said Jeremy Langer, vice president of programming, Tennis Channel. “The show debuted at the French Open in May, and it will act as lead-in programming for all our Grand Slam coverage going forward. We want to keep creating environments for viewers that build anticipation leading up to tournaments.”

Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) – one of America’s most respected sportscasters – has hosted Wimbledon Primetime since its debut on the network in 2008. The show consists of a nightly recap of the day’s action, offering viewers news, expert analysis and encore matches straight from the hallowed grass courts of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. Tennis Channel’s Wimbledon Primetime gives American tennis audiences – typically at work while the tournament takes place – a home destination for everything that happens at the London-based event. Adding to Macatee’s conversational hosting approach on the show are signature Wimbledon segments from distinguished journalist Mary Carillo and Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim).

Carillo will helm “Fleet Street Beat,” which consists of panels with British media, and Wertheim will contribute “Unstrung,” a series of special reports taking place from around the tournament.

Based in the largest on-site studio on the grounds of the historic tournament, Wimbledon Primetime viewers will also benefit from the unparalled commentary of network analysts and Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina), Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76), who combined have won a total of 23 Wimbledon Grand Slam titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Also joining the network’s on-air team is fellow Hall of Famer Jim Courier, former player and current coach of American star John Isner Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) and legendary coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), who is known for his masterful guidance of Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and American star Sloane Stephens.

Wimbledon Primetime typically runs in two editions each night of the two-week tournament, from 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m. ET and 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET. There are three exceptions to the aforementioned format: the play-free mid-tournament break Sunday, July 5, and the championship weekend Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12. During the mid-tournament break, a single four-hour show will recap the best moments from the first week from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET. For the final weekend, Wimbledon Primetime will air one three-hour show from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET each night. Immediately following its first-run nightly conclusion, Wimbledon Primetime will re-air throughout the evening continuing up to the following day’s play. In addition, Tennis Channel will devote seven hours to the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s hour-long daily highlights program throughout the tournament. The show will air 3 a.m-4 a.m. the first week of the tournament, Tuesday, June 30-Saturday, July 4 and then twice more on Monday, July, 6, at 2 a.m.-3a.m. ET and Thursday, July 9, at 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET.

In preparation for the start of the tournament, Tennis Channel will have six special five-minute Wimbledon Court Reports airing at 8 p.m. ET in the days leading up to the tournament, Monday, June 22-Thursday, June 25 and Saturday, June 27- Sunday, June 28. In addition, Tennis Channel Plus, the network’s groundbreaking digital subscription service, will air the five best Wimbledon matches in recent memory during the lead up to the tournament. The matches include: Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, final, 2008; Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe, final, 1980; Roger Federer versus Andy Roddick, final, 2009; Lindsay Davenport versus Venus Williams, final, 2005; Steffi Graf versus Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, final, 1995.

During Wimbledon, Apple and Android users can access Tennis Channel’s app Tennis Channel Everywhere, for free, regardless of whether they are currently subscribed to the network. The app offers users daily updates, highlights, Court Report news updates, instruction clips and player Bag Check segments. Most of those viewers who do subscribe to the network through a cable provider are able to watch the channel live through his or her mobile devices whenever and wherever they want, through a TV Everywhere function, at no extra cost. Tennis Channel’s website will host extra content, including “Racquet Bracket,” the network’s free tournament prediction game. Players can get an inside take from Tennis Channel’s analysts during the new Wimbledon draw preview show, Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon. Also, longtime tennis reporter Steve Flink will contribute columns, which will be filed regularly to the Tennis Channel website,

For more content, Tennis Channel’s social media platforms will offer a multi-platform experience for viewers who to stay engaged across the entirety of the tournament. To connect with Tennis Channel, visit: Facebook (, Twitter (, YouTube (, Instagram ( and Pinterest (