First simulcast of Citi final match

August 7, 2015

LOS ANGELES and WASHINGTON – Tennis Channel, which has exclusive live television and online coverage of this week’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C., will partner with ABC-affiliate WJLA-TV Channel 7 to simulcast Sunday’s men’s championship in the metropolitan area. The arrangement marks the first between a national-TV rights holder and local broadcaster in the 47-year history of the men’s and women’s tennis tournament.

Covering the Citi Open every summer since Tennis Channel’s launch in 2003, this is the first year that the network has live rights to the men’s championship match. The partnership represents the channel’s commitment to bringing the sport to the widest possible audience, especially in the tournament’s home market, which last year ranked among the top 10 in Tennis Channel tune in.

The men’s final is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 9, on the stadium court at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Tennis Channel’s on-air team will feature Hall of Famers Jim Courier and Tracy Austin, and two announcers with Washington ties: Brett Haber currently resides in the area, and fellow sportscaster Steve Weissman is a D.C. native.

“In our first year of exclusive, wall-to-wall Citi Open coverage, this partnership with WJLA-TV lets us share the crowning event with everyone in Washington who owns a television – over the air for free,” said Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel. “We welcome the chance to deliver a taste of the competition that we show week after week throughout the year to any fans who have missed out on Tennis Channel so far. Especially a storied contest like this one in Washington, founded by the legendary Arthur Ashe and, as one of the few with men’s and women’s fields, a reminder that tennis is the most democratized sport in the world.”

Beyond its partnership with WJLA-TV, Tennis Channel has created three jumbo-screen viewing centers in the Washington area this week, free to the public. With live telecasts of the network’s Citi Open coverage, the screens are located at the Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in The Park at City Center DC and at National Harbor.

Tennis Channel’s comprehensive tournament coverage this week – from first ball to championship point – includes daylong telecasts, live lead-in shows from the tournament grounds, late-night encores and additional outer court matches on digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus. In all the channel is devoting more than 200 total hours to the seven-day competition, doubling its live television hours to 60 this year and offering another 45 hours of live digital matches for the first time. It will show almost 100 hours of encore matches on television.

The Citi Open (as it is currently referenced) was founded in 1969 by former player and sports lawyer Donald Dell andhis partner John Harris, with strategic input from Hall of Famer and philanthropist Arthur Ashe.The tournament has hosted numerous stars and future Hall of Famers, Ashe among them, and boasts a roster of champions that includes Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, and Andy Roddick.

Among the top players at this year’s Citi Open are: World No. 3 Andy Murray, 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic, 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and American women’s star Sloane Stephens, as well as the men’s top-ranked American John Isner and 2014 Wimbledon doubles champion Jack Sock.