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Volume 26 No. 65
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Tennis Channel Celebrates Big French Open Viewership Jump

The channel attracted 446,000 viewers for the Serena Williams-Vitalia Diatchenko first-round match
Photo: getty images

Tennis Channel saw a 47% viewership jump during the first week of its live French Open coverage compared to last year's tournament. The net averaged 260,000 viewers during the opening week, led by 448,000 viewers for the Madison Keys-Anna Blinkova third-round match and 446,000 viewers for the Serena Williams-Vitalia Diatchenko first-round match (Tennis Channel). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Andrew Bucholtz noted part of the big jump this year is due to "rising subscribers for Tennis Channel." The net reportedly was available in around 61 million homes as of January, up from just shy of 55 million homes last September. Bucholz: "Having more people with access to your network obviously can boost the ratings" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 6/6).

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS: Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon claims ratings on the channel "have been up almost 50% year-over-year" due to the acquisition of WTA rights from beIN Sports. The channel last October reached a multiyear deal for the U.S. rights to 46 overseas WTA events beginning in January, and Solomon noted on the "Under Review" podcast that the addition of WTA coverage has "helped us raise the attention to the game for both the women and the men by over half in just a few months." He said, "Some inside the ATP ... don't realize their greatest single asset is the women, and we've just proved it." Solomon called it "incredibly satisfying" to have landed the WTA, in part because Tennis Channel "went up against some big competition," including Amazon and ESPN/ESPN+. Solomon: "We ultimately said that now that we're in over 60 million homes, the best combination for the fans and for the sport itself to be able to see as much of it as possible ... was to have it on Tennis Channel" (“Under Review with Craig Shapiro,” 5/25).