Network Signs Multi-Year Rights Agreement for Annual “Europe vs. World” Matchup
All-Time Greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Set to Play in September’s Inaugural Event,as will Americans John Isner, Jack Sock
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, 2017 – Tennis Channel will be the exclusive U.S. television home of the Laver Cup, the newly created annual competition that will pit six of the top men’s tennis stars from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world. The network has signed a multi-year rights agreement with event organizers TRIDENT8 and Tennis Australia, acting as sales agent, to show the matchup in its entirety, with the inaugural edition planned for Sept. 22-24 in Prague, and the 2018 event in the United States.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two of the sport’s most accomplished and celebrated stars, have committed to play for Team Europe next month. Others include 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic and 2016-2017 French Open semifinalist Dominic Thiem. Team World will feature 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and American stars John Isner, who won the longest match in history at Wimbledon in 2010; Jack Sock, winner of the 2014 Wimbledon doubles crown; and Sam Querrey, who has eliminated the World No. 1 singles player from each of the past two Wimbledon tournaments. More players are in talks to compete, while for the first three years Hall of Famers Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe – with 18 Grand Slam singles titles between them – have agreed to captain Team Europe and Team World, respectively, reliving the championship clash that captivated audiences during their playing days.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Tennis Channel to be present at the launch of this significant addition to the annual tennis calendar, especially an event named after one of the most iconic, favorite Hall of Fame idols of all time,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “In addition to the rock star-studded lineup, for the first time in history viewers will have the chance to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in the midst of their epic, multi-decade rivalry, competing together – including potentially playing doubles as a team – as opposed to against each other. We fully expect the Laver Cup to grow into a hallowed sports-world tradition in the decades to come, and we’re eager to facilitate by launching the event front and center to close to 60 million paid subscriber households around the country, as well as aggressively integrating support for the event on both Tenischannel.com and on our newest platforms Tennis.com and Tennis magazine.”
The 2017 Laver Cup competition will take place in Prague’s O? Arena and has already sold out, making it the fastest selling event in the venue’s history. Team Europe and Team World will play three singles and one doubles match each day, Friday through Sunday, with points awarded for each match. The event is named for Australian tennis icon Rod Laver, the only player to twice win all four singles majors in the same year. A Hall of Famer whose career straddled the end of tennis’ amateur era and the beginning of today’s Open Era, he was among the barnstorming players who ushered in the modern age of high-profile professional tennis. Laver is considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time.
“I’m really excited that Tennis Channel will be the home of the Laver Cup here in the States,” said Laver. “There’s already a spectacular field and I can’t wait to watch the first competition get underway next month.”
Though the site has yet to be announced, Laver Cup organizers plan to hold the 2018 event in the United States, with a return to Europe in 2019.
About the Laver Cup
The Laver Cup is a joint initiative between TRIDENT8, Tennis Australia, the USTA and Jorge Paulo Lemann.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com), which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, 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 at the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, ATP World Tour events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI)
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Pro forma for the Tribune acquisition (before any related divestitures) and all previously announced pending transactions, the Company will own, operate and/or provide services to 233 television stations in 108 markets. The Company has multiple emerging networks as well as being affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and a producer of live sports content. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, firstname.lastname@example.org, @TennisChannelPR