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Expanded TV Coverage, Top Players Highlight Family Circle Cup WTA Event
Published April 3, 2013
GOING GLOBAL: Hartsell noted the tournament "will go global this week, as an unprecedented total of 52 matches and more than 100 hours of coverage are slated to be available" on int'l TV and online streaming. It is a 300% “increase over the nine matches and 14 hours of tennis carried on TV last year.” Moran: “It’s a big deal for us. It means bringing Charleston and this event to an international audience, and that impacts our sponsors, Daniel Island, our city and our entire state.” He added, “And since we’re doing two courts instead of one, we have to build a lot more facilities and do a lot more wiring. It really starts our process a lot earlier.” The process is part of a deal for int’l rights that the WTA Tour “announced late last year, with more [than] 400 matches broadcast in 2013 across the MCS TV Group network of channels.” ESPN retains U.S. rights and will “carry its normal allotment of Thursday-Sunday Family Circle Cup coverage,” including Sunday’s 1:00pm ET championship match, with Cliff Drysdale and Pam Shriver in the booth (Charleston POST & COURIER, 4/1).
MO' MONEY, LESS PROBLEMS: In New Jersey, Ann LoPrinzi noted the USTA has been talking with the ATP and WTA for the past year and feels that the new agreement to increase U.S. Open prize money “will allow them to focus on other important things, like transforming the tennis center and getting more kids playing tennis.” Officials made it “clear that the pressure to increase prize money is not just about the top players.” It is “apparently difficult for lower-ranked players to make a living on the tour; therefore, players at both ends of the spectrum will benefit” (TRENTON TIMES, 3/31).
GRASS IS GREENER: The ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart will become a grass court tournament from '15. Formerly played on a clay court, the tournament’s request to move to a grass court event taking place the week following the French Open in the lead up to Wimbledon was approved by the ATP BOD at its recent meetings in Miami. With Wimbledon a week later in the calendar from '15, a three-week gap will be incorporated in the ATP calendar following the French Open. That means an additional week of tournaments in the lead up to Wimbledon (ATP).