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SBD/January 18, 2012/Media
Tennis Channel Signs Multiyear Carriage Deal With Verizon
Published January 18, 2012
MAJOR COVERAGE: SI.com's Bruce Jenkins reviewed the early TV coverage of the Australian Open and wrote when Tennis Channel made its debut 7:00am ET Monday, viewers "couldn't help but notice the dropoff in quality since TC made its dramatic breakthrough at last year's French Open," when the coverage team included John McEnroe, Ted Robinson and Lindsay Davenport. McEnroe is "not in Melbourne" for the tournament this year, while Robinson, the "radio voice of the San Francisco 49ers, is immersed in one of the Bay Area's most compelling sports stories in years." Meanwhile, Davenport is "on maternity leave." Jenkins: "TC has taken some pretty big hits, relying on [Bill] Macatee, [Martina] Navratilova and Tracy Austin as its three-person crew on big matches." Tennis Channel "remains a vibrant entry," but the tournament is "primarily an ESPN2 production." Some have "criticized ESPN's tennis coverage for being too bland, and it seems there was a concerted effort to change that" (SI.com, 1/17).