SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Media

USTA, CBS Sign U.S. Open Extension Through '14 At "Slight Increase"

USTA and CBS reach deal in principle for three-year extension of U.S. Open rights
The USTA and CBS have reached an agreement in principle for the U.S. Open to remain on CBS through '14 for a "slight increase in rights payments," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The deal that expires after this year's event pays the USTA $20-25M annually; CBS and USTA officials "declined to say exactly what CBS is paying" for the three-year extension. The net paid $33.7M in '04 and $30M the next four years. The new deal "maintains the current schedule," including the Saturday primetime women's final. CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus: “We have a really good lineup of events that are spread throughout the calendar and the U.S. Open fits perfectly into our schedule.” He added that one of the benefits of the U.S. Open deal is that half the ad time bought on CBS comes through on-site USTA sponsors. McManus: “They don’t undertake any significant sponsorship talks without including CBS. Most sponsors realize if they’re going to have identification on-site, it make sense to advertise on CBS.” USTA Chief Business & Marketing Officer Harlan Stone: “The key for us, and they agreed, was to keep the women’s finals in prime time.” While the deal was done during CBS’ exclusive negotiating period with the USTA, ESPN had "voiced its interest to the USTA about expanding its current cable deal" and held internal talks about "possibly moving the men’s singles final from Sunday afternoon to Monday night" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/15).
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