NET RESULTS: THE U.S. OPEN IS THE PLACE TO BE -- AND BE SEEN
The U.S. Open "has become the social and sporting event
of the New York summer scene, generating a whopping $130
million in revenue and broadcasts in 175 countries,"
according to Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Fatsis: "But don't be fooled. Outside the Open's opulent
new stadium, U.S. tennis is still fighting to reclaim its
glory days of the 1970s. Even with a new spark in
popularity for the women's circuit, pro tennis is stuck in
the qualifying rounds of big-league sports." Many industry
execs say that part of the "problem" is that tennis "remains
fractured," as the USTA runs the U.S. Open, while other
events on the ATP and WTA Tours are independently owned and
operated. One of the other problems is "simply too much
tennis," as too many tournaments fight over the top players.
But both the men's and women's tours "say they're trying to
reform themselves, and work out better deals with the
networks and cable" TV. Fatsis: "Without consistent national
TV exposure, advertisers don't see a reason to put money
anywhere in tennis but the prestigious Grand Slam events."
CBS Sports President Sean McManus adds that there "hasn't
been a strong enough advertiser base." But at the U.S.
Open, "such concerns couldn't be further from center court."
Advantage Int'l President Phillip de Picciotto: "The Open is
a showcase. The scale is just grander than it's ever been.
And the public has responded" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/28).
LOVE ON THE STREETS IN THE TOWN OF NEW HAVEN: At the
women's Pilot Pen Int'l in New Haven, announced attendance
for the first four days was 27,140. Through the first three
days, the announced attendance of 20,507 was more than the
men's tournament drew in its first three day and night
sessions last week. But in Hartford, Greg Garber writes
that while the event is doing well "on paper," there "seems
... to be a sizable gap between the announced attendance and
the actual number of people in the seats" (HARTFORD COURANT,
8/28). Also in Hartford, Lori Riley profiles former WTA
Tour CEO Anne Worcester, who now runs APW Sports and is a
consultant to the women's event (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28).