SBD/August 6, 2012/Media

NBC Renews French Open TV Deal Through '24, Will Add More Dates, Live Coverage

NBC's new deal will include 10 additional hours of live coverage
NBC Sports and the French Tennis Federation yesterday announced a multiyear, multi-platform extension for the French Open that includes 10 more hours of live coverage for the Grand Slam event through '24. NBC will air the opening Sunday of the tournament, as it did for the first time this year, as well as middle weekend tennis, the men’s and women’s semifinals and the men’s and women’s finals. The extension brings more days to the net including Memorial Day coverage and the women’s semifinals rounding out the championship weekend (NBC). In L.A., Meg James wrote the extension “was a comeback of sorts for NBC, which last year lost the rights to the most coveted event of the tennis year -- Wimbledon." ESPN triumphed over NBC, in large part, “because tennis fans were increasingly frustrated by NBC's coverage of late tournament matches.” The network "refused to preempt its lucrative morning program ‘Today’ to provide live coverage of Wimbledon semifinals, spoiling the thrill for hard-core tennis fans” (LATIMES.com, 8/5).
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