OPEN'S BIG WEEKEND GETS HEADSTART: USA EXTENDS CABLE DEAL
Published September 6, 1996
USA Network signed a new long-term deal with the USTA to remain the exclusive cable home for U.S. Open coverage through the year 2002. USA has been at the Open since '84 and this year committed 84-plus hours of live event coverage. The deal was announced by USTA President Les Synder and USA Chair & CEO Kay Kopolitz. Kopolitz called the Open "one of our most cherished signature properties for the past 13 years." Terms of the deal were not disclosed (USA). USA reportedly outbid Fox and TNT (USA TODAY, 9/6). NET NEWS: In New York, Steve Zipay notes one reason to watch the Open this weekend is for the MacCams, the "hottest technology of the summer," which are high-speed baseline cameras that CBS debuted. The cameras can shoot 800 to 1,000 frames per second, much more than regular TV cameras which shoot 30 frames per second and give accurate readings on a balls placement. CBS Senior VP/Production Rick Gentile: "The cameras have made a tremendous impact. Officials, players and the broadcasters are all talking about it." Announcer John McEnroe called for the cameras to be used for instant replay on close calls, but the USTA is "troubled because the cameras can only be used on one court," and the price, at around $500,000 per camera, is prohibitive (NEWSDAY, 9/6)....In Houston, Mike McDaniel credits USA for "smart" coverage of yesterday's quarterfinal between Pete Sampras and Alex Corretja. McDaniel: "It was sports and sportsmanship as good as it gets, and USA gets extra points in presenting it the way it did" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/6)....In Washington, Leonard Shapiro praises CBS' Mary Carillo's play-by- play work during last Saturday's Open coverage. Shapiro: "Carillo could make a major breakthrough for female broadcasters on network sports. [she] is very good for her sport" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/6).