WTA Tour set to launch online over-the-top network
The WTA Tour this week is launching a standalone online over-the-top network, WTA TV, that will stream nearly 2,000 matches from 55 tournaments. Perform Media, which owns the digital and linear rights for the WTA, is managing the site.
Until the end of 2016, WTA matches were streamed on tennistv.com, which is owned by ATP Media. The WTA unexpectedly could not renew, plunging the circuit into a seven-month period without a streaming deal.
“We took some short-term pain,” said Steve Simon, the WTA’s CEO. “It’s not good when you don’t have a streaming service available to you.”
The site charges $9.99 a month, or $74.99 for a year. The address is www.wtatv.com.
This year is the first in a 10-year, $500 million contract with Perform Media to sell all international media rights. The digital subscription revenue flows to Perform, not the WTA.
The site goes live today. It may expand to include features and other programming in addition to live matches.
WTA TV will be available worldwide except in China, where WTA partner iQIYI holds exclusive streaming rights.
Other networks in the U.S., such as ESPN and Tennis Channel, have some streaming rights to tournaments, but they are not exclusive as in China.