LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21, 2017 – Tennis Channel is adding No. 2-ranked doubles player Bethanie Mattek-Sands to its on-air team for its ninth year of US Open coverage Monday, Aug. 28-Sunday, Sept. 10. While the American star is recovering from a knee injury she sustained during Wimbledon, Mattek-Sands will act as an analyst for the network, resuming a similar US Open role she took with the channel while recovering from a hip injury in 2014. She will also contribute to special segments with US Open players and interact with fans through social media.
Mattek-Sands joins Tennis Channel as the network plans more than 175 hours of total coverage during the fourth major of 2017, including three-hour morning show Tennis Channel Live at the US Open and one-hour evening program US Open Daily. This is in addition to the network’s signature late-night and early morning match encores and an on-air team that incudes Hall of Fame analysts, championship coaches, and award-winning sportscasters and reporters.
“I'm really excited to be back in New York City for the US Open with the crew from Tennis Channel!” said Mattek-Sands. “I’m very much looking forward to giving fans a personal inside look at the amazing players I've gotten to know and compete with over the years. See you all soon!”
With her partner Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, Mattek-Sands is the defending doubles champion at the US Open, Australian Open and French Open. She also captured the mixed-doubles gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with fellow American Jack Sock. In all, Mattek-Sands has won seven major doubles or mixed-doubles titles.
She joins a roster that includes Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina), Jim Courier, Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) who, combined, won 72 major championships during their playing days, including 20 US Open titles. Other analysts include James Blake (@JRBlake), who as a player symbolized the tense late-night matches known to Flushing Meadows crowds; Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), considered one of the greatest minds in the game for his coaching work with legends Pete Sampras and Roger Federer; and Justin Gimelstob, (@justingimelstob) who won mixed-doubles championships at the French Open and Australian Open and remains well connected within player circles as a representative on the ATP board of directors.
Mary Carillo, one of America’s most lauded and popular sportscasters for her candid humor and the poignant features she creates during coverage of tennis, the Olympics and other sports, will return to Tennis Channel’s US Open booth in 2017. Also returning is announcer and host Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), an Emmy Award-winning former sports director at news stations in New York City and Washington, D.C. Throughout the year Carillo and Haber call matches, anchor coverage at a variety of tournaments and host in-depth roundtable discussions with network analysts. The same is true for Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman), another award-winning returning member of Tennis Channel’s US Open announcement team.
Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will return to Tennis Channel’s US Open booth as well. The author of several books on tennis and other sports, Wertheim writes Sports Illustrated’s “Tennis Mailbag” column and hosts the “Beyond the Baseline” podcast, a joint venture between the magazine and Tennis Channel.
Tennis Channel Live at the US Open will run every day from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. ET for the first week-and-a-half of the US Open, Monday, Aug 28-Wednesday, Sept. 6. Hosted by Carillo and Haber, the morning lead-in show will include input from Navratilova, Courier, Davenport, Blake and Wertheim, and look at each day’s upcoming schedule while recapping results and developments from the day before. The program will also feature a series of special segments dedicated to US Open activity both on and off the courts. Among these are “Advantage Omar,” with citywide visits by Ballers actor Omar Miller; “Coaching in the Bigs,” with interviews conducted by Annacone; and “Young Americans,” with Blake’s conversations with young players throughout the tournament.
The nighttime US Open Daily will run from 11 p.m.-midnight ET and offer an in-depth look at the tournament’s most compelling storylines as the fortnight progresses. Weissman will anchor the program, which will feature commentary from Austin, Gimelstob and Blake most evenings. A rotation of other analysts will also appear, among them Navratilova, Davenport and Annacone. One-on-one interviews with Carillo and her guests will also feature prominently in the show each night.
Immediately following US Open Daily, Tennis Channel will run a five-hour block of tournament day-session matches, from 12 a.m.-5 a.m. ET, followed by night-session recaps from 5 a.m.-8 a.m. ET. This schedule will alter during the second week of play, as fewer matches take place and, ultimately, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals coverage replaces the morning and evening programs beginning Thursday, Sept. 7. Tennis Channel will air the women’s singles final at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 9, preceded by a one-hour live lead-in show. On Sunday, Sept. 10, the network will run the men’s doubles final at 12 a.m. ET, the men’s singles final at 8 p.m., also introduced with a live lead-in program at 7 p.m. The women’s doubles final will first air on the network at 2 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11. All finals will run as encore matches multiple times during the week after the US Open concludes.
Tennis Channel’s website will provide visitors with scores, highlights and video content from the network’s US Open coverage. Hall of Fame reporter Steve Flink and historian Joel Drucker will contribute columns from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center throughout the event. Tennis Channel will also share content with Sinclair Broadcast Group sister outlet Tennis.com and Tennis magazine, which will have reporters Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor), Nina Pantic (@ninapantic1), Brad Kallet (@brad_kallet) and Ed McGrogan (@EdMcGrogan) on the tournament grounds. Network web visitors will have the chance to compete in the free “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game as well, and follow along as Tennis Channel announcers and analysts hold their third major fantasy draft, selecting from the field of US Open competitors.
Tennis Channel Everywhere app users will have the opportunity to watch the channel’s linear US Open stream on the go, and gain access to the latest tournament video, including player interviews and clips from Tennis Channel Live and US Open Daily. The app is also the mobile avenue for digital-subscription service Tennis Channel Plus, available to everyone in the United States regardless of whether they currently subscribe to the on-air network. During the US Open Tennis Channel Plus will feature classic matches and the semifinals and finals from this year’s other three majors, the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
As with this year’s French Open, Tennis Channel’s social media presence at the US Open will be heightened in 2017, with an increase of personnel on site and support teams in Los Angeles. Mattek-Sands will also support her on-air presence with extensive social media outreach. Fans will be able to follow the network on a variety of online outlets again, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and Mattek-Sands via #GameSetMattek and #InBedWithBethanie.
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 stations 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.
# # #
For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, email@example.com, @TennisChannelPR