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Volume 20 No. 42
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Foxtenn line technology gets tourney gigs

Electronic line-call review giant Hawk-Eye will get its first competitor in tennis later this year when Spanish upstart Foxtenn takes over instant replay at the Metz, France, ATP tournament in September.

Foxtenn, based outside of Barcelona, also secured rights to manage electronic line call reviews at the October ATP stop in Antwerp, Belgium, which had not used instant replay previously.

Late last year the International Tennis Federation approved Foxtenn for line call reviews, the first sign that Sony-owned Hawk-Eye would get its first competitor since tennis started using the technology in 2005.

The Foxtenn system will be used at two ATP stops in Europe.

Hawk-Eye expanded into other sports soon after its entry into tennis and is the industry leader in the sector.

“We presented officially to all … ATP tournaments and to WTA, ITF and other big federations. We [are] starting tournament agreements with big acceptance in the fall,” Foxtenn founder Javier Simón Vilar wrote in an email. He indicated more tournaments would sign with Foxtenn, but the ATP stops in Metz and Antwerp were the only ones he agreed to disclose.

Foxtenn, unlike Hawk-Eye, which relies exclusively on cameras to track balls, also uses lasers and touts its accuracy as greater than that of the Sony-owned firm. Hawk-Eye calculates where the ball is hit and then creates an image, while Foxtenn’s system is “based on real images of the real ball bounce,” the company said.

It’s unclear how much Foxtenn charges, but it’s no secret that tennis wants a less expensive alternative. Hawk-Eye, which involves multiple HD cameras and a production booth, charges $60,000 for a few weeks per court. The only tournament to have Hawk-Eye on every court is the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.