By Justin Cohen @JustinCohen44
Jim Courier joins Tennis Channel as Wimbledon analyst; Also joins network for BNP Paribas Open
Los Angeles-based Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, has extended the contract of Jim Courier to include analyst’s duties at Wimbledon and the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. The multiyear agreement expands upon Courier’s role as full-time lead men’s US Open analyst, begun in 2012, and comes in time for Tennis Channel’s sixth year of coverage in London via the nightly Wimbledon Primetime, set for June 24-July 7. Courier, a tennis Hall of Famer who currently captains the U.S. Davis Cup squad, will offer his insight as part of a Wimbledon Primetime team that includes fellow Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova (@Martina), sportscast veteran Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) and on-point fan-favorite Mary Carillo. Former players Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) and Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) also will return in 2013, joined this year by former player Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) and frequent Tennis Channel contributor Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) of Sports Illustrated. Macatee, Navratilova and Gimelstob have been part of Tennis Channel’s on-air team at every Grand Slam telecast in network history. “I’ve enjoyed working with Tennis Channel at the US Open the past few years and am pleased to get the opportunity to join them for other important events,” said Courier. “Wimbledon holds a very special place in the landscape of our sport and I look forward to being there to cover it alongside the entire Tennis Channel team.”
Tennis Channel’s Wimbledon coverage begins on Monday, June 24
Tennis Channel’s 2013 Wimbledon coverage starts with the first day of play on Monday, June 24, and continues nightly through the final weekend. Wimbledon Primetime typically runs from 5 p.m. ET each afternoon until 8:30 p.m. This first edition will be followed immediately by a second, entirely new three-and-a-half-hour show from 8:30 p.m.-midnight. Exceptions to this schedule come on the weekends. On the middle Sunday, June 30, an annual day without any matches, Wimbledon Primetime will focus on the best of week one, and air one edition from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. ET. The following weekend, Saturday, July 6, and Sunday, July 7, also will feature single editions from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. ET each night, as the tournament concludes and champions are crowned. Tennis Channel will run encore editions of Wimbledon Primetime throughout the late night and early morning until 7 a.m. ET, on the eve of the following day’s play. Nightly encores usually will begin at 12 a.m., with 11 a.m. starts on altered-schedule evenings. The network plans close to 90 hours of first-run Wimbledon Primetime coverage during the two-week tournament, with late-night encores pushing the overall number of hours to more than 180.
USTA sues filmmaker of ‘Venus and Serena’
According to an article written by Richard Sandomir in The New York Times ‘Straight Sets Blog’, the United States Tennis Association accused the makers of a new documentary about Venus and Serena Williams of copyright infringement for using more than 20 minutes of video from the 2011 United States Open and previous ones without signing an agreement. In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in White Plains, the USTA also said that Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, the makers of “Venus and Serena,” used four times more video than would have been permitted in an agreement. The association also said the filmmakers used video that was “not in the best interest of the sport”: Serena Williams’s 2009 vitriolic tirade against a line judge. Davidson Goldin, a spokesman for the filmmakers, said that talks collapsed over an agreement to use archival footage when the USTA refused to let them use the 2009 clip. They used it anyway, saying it fell under the fair-use exception to a copyright owner’s right to control his or her intellectual property. In 2011, Baird and Major first asked the USTA about obtaining permission to use archival video of the Williams sisters from previous United States Opens and to shoot video from the 2011 event, according to the lawsuit. They obtained access to the 2011 tournament, but, after they did not sign an agreement, the USTA believed that the documentary project had been abandoned. “Having failed to reach an agreement or otherwise pay for the footage they used,” the tennis association said, Baird and Major “simply misappropriated” the footage “for their commercial advantage without regard to the USTA’s rights.” Baird and Major disputed the accusations. “In trying to censor this film about the Williams sisters,” they said, “the USTA is simply making up an agreement that never existed — we shot footage at the U.S. Open with the USTA’s permission and of course never agreed to pay them for our own work.” They said that the association was engaged in a “shameful effort to interfere” with the film.
Mylan World TeamTennis sets TV and Live Streaming schedule
More than 200 hours of action from Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO, including over 70 hours of live coverage, will air on a combination of national and regional television networks and online this July. The Mylan WTT preview show, matches and highlight recap telecasts are expected to reach close to 200 million households worldwide, including the U.S., India, Africa, Russia, New Zealand, Europe, Southeast Asia and the United Kingdom. Altitude, Comcast Sports Net, Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), Mediacom, Tennis Channel, and Time Warner Cable Sports will air five Mylan WTT matches this summer, starting with Venus Williams leading the defending champion Washington Kastles at home on July 9 against the Boston Lobsters. The Kastles have a 32-match win streak heading into the 2013 season, the second longest in major professional U.S. team sports. Former ATP World Tour player and Princeton University standout Leif Shiras will be the host for all televised Mylan WTT matches, along with former doubles great Rennae Stubbs, who will provide color commentary. Harry Cicma will report from the sideline.
USPTA, Emirates Airline US Open Series collaborate
The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the USTA have joined forces to make the Emirates Airline US Open Series available to the USPTA and its members. The partnership is modeled after other successful agreements already in place in Stanford, New Haven and Cincinnati. The goal is to develop partnerships in the other Emirates Airline US Open Series cities and use the Series to promote tennis and the USPTA. “The Emirates Airline US Open Series is a great platform for tennis fans, old and new, to enjoy our sport,” said J. Wayne Richmond, General Manager, Emirates Airline US Open Series. “The teaching pros are so vital to the success of tennis throughout the country and we are delighted to work the USPTA on several fronts to grow our sport.” The Emirates Airline US Open Series is in its 10th year and links nine events during the five-week period leading into the US Open. The Series has boasted a television audience of more than 30 million in past years and an overall attendance of more than 750,000 in 2012. This year, the Series will air more than 200 hours of live tennis and more than 350 hours total. “The USPTA has an obligation to support professional tournaments in the U.S. We owe it to those tournament directors to create interest in their events with the consumers that we touch by encouraging them to attend Emirates Airline US Open tournaments in those respective markets,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “In return, our members receive a tangible benefit by being able to go to the tournaments early in the week as a guest of the tournament.”
Andy Murray donates entire Queen’s Club winner’s pay check to London’s Royal Marsden Hospital
After winning the AEGON Championships at London’s Queen’s Club this past weekend for the third time in five years, World No. 2 Andy Murray donated his entire winner’s pay check of £73,000 to London’s Royal Marsden Hospital in honor of his close friend, British Davis Cup doubles player Ross Hutchins, who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Tonic by Martina Hingis named Official Clothing Partner of Southern California Open
Tonic by Martina Hingis has been named the official clothing partner of the Southern California Open. Hingis, who is set to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this July in Newport, collaborated with Tonic to create her own signature tennis clothing collection. “We are extremely proud to have Tonic by Martina Hingis as the official clothing partner of the Southern California Open,” said Tournament Director Alastair Garland. “We are happy to be associated with a partner whose clothing has been inspired by such a great champion.” “Tonic is delighted with the opportunity to sponsor this top tennis event. Martina loved to play at the La Costa Resort and Spa when she was on tour, so we’re excited to be involved in this tournament as our first major sponsorship,” said Leopoldo Gutierrez, CEO Tonic Active Wear. “As a long-time supporter of women’s tennis, the Southern California Open highlights the importance of furthering the development of women in sport, which is an important aspect of Tonic’s involvement in tennis.”
Roddick, Courier to play exhibition match in Cashiers, North Carolina
Recently-retired American tennis star Andy Roddick, a former World No. 1 and 2003 US Open Champion, will take on U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier in the United Community Bank Mountain Challenge on Saturday, July 27 at the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers, North Carolina. The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with McKee Properties will host the event with proceeds benefitting the new non-profit organization Mountain Youth Charities. A gala dinner will be held on Friday, July 26 hosted by Roddick and Courier. This will be held in Cashiers at Lonesome Valley s famed restaurant Canyon Kitchen.
Dick Norman retires from ATP World Tour following 22-year career
Following his first round doubles loss with fellow Belgian David Goffin at the Topshelf Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands, 42-year-old Dick Norman officially retired from the ATP World Tour. In April 2010, Norman reached a career-high World No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings and won four tour-level titles from seven finals. The highlight of his professional career came in 2009 when he teamed with Wesley Moodie and reached the finals of the French Open. That year, he also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon including a win over World No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan and the US Open quarterfinals. The 6’8” lefty finished his career with a 119-120 record while earning just over $2 million in tournament prize money.
USPTA Buying Show set for September 26 at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando
The United States Professional Tennis Association’s Tennis Buying Show will be held on Thursday, September 26 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla., during the World Conference. Booth space is still available for the largest national tennis-only buying show. The buying show is part of the larger World Conference, which begins on September 23 and annually attracts the who’s who of the tennis industry. Tennis-teaching professionals, industry leaders and representatives, media and manufacturer representatives are expected to attend. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit booth registrations early to guarantee their space since the buying show sells out each year. To obtain booth reservation forms, visit www.usptaworldconference.com and click on the buying show menu tab or call John Embree at 713-978-7782 ext. 117 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibitors include tennis equipment, apparel and footwear companies, marketers and wholesalers of hard and soft goods, video analysis, Web-based programs and software, teaching aids, court surfacing and lighting, awards, educational materials, nutrition bars and vitamins, and more.
T2Tennis and Ultimate Tennis merge
T2Tennis and Ultimate Tennis recently announced that they have merged, creating the largest tennis flex league in the United States. With over 100,000 members and operations in seven states T2Tennis and Ultimate Tennis provide organized tennis league play to more players than any other organization except the United States Tennis Association (USTA).