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CBS MOVES WOMEN'S U.S. OPEN FINAL BACK TO SUPER SATURDAY
Published April 15, 1998
Due to the return of the NFL to CBS, the U.S. Open women's final will move from Sunday to Saturday, taking place between the men's semifinals, according to Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK. The women's final will not take place before 1:30pm ET. CBS will air the men's final on Sunday following early NFL games. Brockinton also reports that USA Network, which has cable rights to the Open, "will pick up the whole first Sunday of the tournament," airing matches from noon to 6:00pm while CBS carries the NFL's opening day games. With the added Sunday coverage, USA will broadcast 94 hours of Open coverage. Brockinton says the move is "not a welcome development" for the Corel WTA Tour which "had lobbied for years" to move the women's final to Sunday, giving it equal billing to the men. Asked to comment on the switch back to Saturday, a WTA Tour rep said, "There is nothing to comment on." Brockinton writes that the "resurrection of Super Saturday could help boost the network's lagging Open ratings" (MEDIAWEEK, 4/13 issue). TENNIS NOTES: Brockinton adds that USA Network VP/Ad Sales John Cronopulos said that the net has sold "about" 55% of its commercial inventory for its French Open coverage. Deals have been cut with MCI, Ralston Purina, New Balance, Johnson & Johnson and Benckiser (MEDIAWEEK, 4/13 issue). ...Fox Sports reached a two-year deal to broadcast the final-round of the WTA Tour's Toshiba Tennis Classic in San Diego. It marks the first time Fox has broadcast a women's pro tennis event and the WTA Tour will now have events on all four major U.S. TV networks in the same year (WTA Tour).