CBS MOVES WOMEN'S U.S. OPEN FINAL BACK TO SUPER SATURDAY
Due to the return of the NFL to CBS, the U.S. Open
women's final will move from Sunday to Saturday, taking
place between the men's semifinals, according to Langdon
Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK. The women's final will not take
place before 1:30pm ET. CBS will air the men's final on
Sunday following early NFL games. Brockinton also reports
that USA Network, which has cable rights to the Open, "will
pick up the whole first Sunday of the tournament," airing
matches from noon to 6:00pm while CBS carries the NFL's
opening day games. With the added Sunday coverage, USA will
broadcast 94 hours of Open coverage. Brockinton says the
move is "not a welcome development" for the Corel WTA Tour
which "had lobbied for years" to move the women's final to
Sunday, giving it equal billing to the men. Asked to
comment on the switch back to Saturday, a WTA Tour rep said,
"There is nothing to comment on." Brockinton writes that
the "resurrection of Super Saturday could help boost the
network's lagging Open ratings" (MEDIAWEEK, 4/13 issue).
TENNIS NOTES: Brockinton adds that USA Network VP/Ad
Sales John Cronopulos said that the net has sold "about" 55%
of its commercial inventory for its French Open coverage.
Deals have been cut with MCI, Ralston Purina, New Balance,
Johnson & Johnson and Benckiser (MEDIAWEEK, 4/13 issue).
...Fox Sports reached a two-year deal to broadcast the
final-round of the WTA Tour's Toshiba Tennis Classic in San
Diego. It marks the first time Fox has broadcast a women's
pro tennis event and the WTA Tour will now have events on
all four major U.S. TV networks in the same year (WTA Tour).