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U.S. Open Deal The Latest Example Of The Blurring Lines Between Broadcast, Cable
Published May 17, 2013
GOOD MOVE FOR FANS: In L.A., Meg James writes the move "should make it easier for tennis fans to find the matches on one television outlet, rather than the current channel-bouncing that was going on." Having the U.S. Open has "been something of a mixed blessing" for CBS. While tennis "attracts a well-to-do audience that advertisers covet, its numbers are relatively small compared to other professional sports." USTA execs when pressed said that they "weren't unhappy with CBS, but that ESPN offered a more lucrative package." Smith: "CBS has been a fabulous partner. This was about moving forward" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17). TENNIS.com's Peter Bodo wrote CBS "shepherded the game through the Open era, and deserves much credit for opening tennis up to an enormous audience -- mostly through its substantial and generally excellent coverage of the U.S. Open." Still, this is a "great win for tennis." This is a "watershed event" for the sport, and "probably for sports broadcasting in general" (TENNIS.com, 5/16).
USTA EXTENDS IN CANADA: TSN and RDS have extended their partnership with the USTA with a new 11-year multimedia rights agreement for the U.S. Open. TSN and RDS will have exclusive Canadian coverage of the U.S. Open Finals for the first time (TSN).