Archive for the ‘the tennis channel’ Category

tennis channel: soon for the comcast masses?

April 25, 2011

Tennis Channel and Comcast will go before the FCC Administration Law Judge today to settle a complaint filed by TC calling out the cable distrbutor for discrimination. TC execs want their network to join Golf Channel and Versus in Comcast’s basic tier offerings, but Comcast says it’s too expensive to set up. (Of course, Golf Channel and Versus are owned by Comcast.)

We’ll let you know when we hear of any updates.

(src)

in los angeles’ west side, traffic will grind to a halt for obama

April 21, 2011

For our readers in Los Angeles: if you warming up your shoulders to hurl tomatoes at Obama as his motorcade cuts through the Westside this afternoon — the traffic will. be. a. disaster. — consider this: his fundraiser at Tavern in Brentwood is co-chaired by Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. Now all we need is the first family watching a match at the U.S. Open…

BTW: The cost to attend tonight’s party? $35,800 per person. Schnikes.

with tennis on our minds, is it time to dump tennis channel?

September 10, 2010

NYTimes.com’s DealBook blog reminds us that Tennis Channel’s been around for seven years now, and that the network’s investors are probably itching to get a return on their money.

From the post:

“The Tennis Channel’s owners have controlled the business now for seven years, a long slog for a private-equity investment. With the network improving its fortunes over the past few years and achieving viability as an independent cable channel, the investors could be looking to exit in the near term, say several people familiar with the deal.

Potential buyers include a large media company with an existing portfolio of cable assets (Comcast, Cox or Viacom); a talent agency (CAA or IMG); or to a new set of private-equity owners (Blackstone and Bain, for instance, own the Weather Channel).”

Now that TC’s finagled its share of Slam coverage, let’s hope they can get themselves a good deal. Life wouldn’t be the same without Bag Check!

(via DealBook)

tipsarevic rolls to beat of his own drum

July 29, 2010

We already know that Janko Tipsarevic is different from the average bear, but he has shown this even more so while in Los Angeles for the Farmers Classic ATP Tour Stop. Over at Sweet Spot, James LaRosa got some taxicab confessions out of our munchkin Serb (something about sheep looking at doors?).

And earlier this week he mentioned a racquet bag change via Twitter. He rolled out the new look for his opening dubs match with Feli.

They’ll resume their partnership for a match today against the team of Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr.

Draw: See who’s left playing singles and doubles at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles.

(bag image by TSF; screengrab from Twitter; match images via Getty Images)

please hold our calls: tennis channel’s summer coverage

July 15, 2010

In an effort to bring our readers better service, the west coast offices of TSF recently signed up to get Tennis Channel.

DecoTurfin’ U.S.A.: The network’s 2010 Olympus U.S. Open Series coverage will cover nine tourneys starting July 23: the Atlanta Tennis Championships (Atlanta), Farmers Classic (Los Angeles), Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington, D.C.), Rogers Masters (Toronto) and Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (Cincinnati); on the women’s side, they’ll cover the Bank of the West Classic (Stanford, Calif.), Mercury Insurance Open (San Diego), Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open (Cincinnati) and Rogers Cup (Montreal). FYI, they will not be covering Pilot Pen (at Yale).

Schedule: Dates, times, and info about commentators all after the cut…

psa: wimbledon online

June 25, 2009

For those of you like me who haven’t made the switch to digital television (it’s been lots of NPR-ing and lullabyes of those DTV commercials), considering going online for your Wimbledon fix.

See what ESPN, Tennis Channel, and NBC are all doing…

larosa’s at it again

June 4, 2009

I spent a few minutes last night as that guy, LOLing — literally — while fiddling with my pink ‘Berry on the street. The reason for my giggles? James LaRosa is back at it, blogging about Roland Garros for Tennis Channel. All the posts are archived here.

Edit: the Day 12 post has a fashion conversation between LaRosa and yours truly. Check it out!

on melamine, crazy elephants, and dreaming of spacesuits: talking ao fashion with james larosa

January 23, 2009

It’s always nice to get facetime with fellow bloggers (conversations don’t last too long when I talk to my cactus), and it’s especially nice with fellow tennis-loving Angeleno James LaRosa, who pens the fabulous LaRosa’s Sweet Spot. We talked fashion in our most recent gabfest. Read: Here’s what came out of our ensuing discussion.

larosa’s sweet spot + nick in smash

September 12, 2008

James LaRosa‘s Sweet Spot, born on September 10, 2008.

The prolific Tennis Channel scribe’s Cinderella story gets another chapter with the establishment of James’ weekly TC column (on Wednesdays). The first post: a look at recent butterfly-effect matches on the tour.

Also, Nick McCarvel has a great article in the fall 2008 issue of SMASH about how to travel (and pack) smart for tournament travel. Check it out.

blame adidas for mattek’s current state + is nike waiting in the wings?

June 4, 2008

Through an interview with Bill Macattee and French Open Tonight, Bethanie Mattek offers some insight on why she dresses how she does. adidas, you’re to blame!

I was at the Australian Open a few years ago, and I actually got cut from the adidas team. I had all adidas stuff but I said, ‘Well I’m not going to wear it, they just cut me from the team.’ I basically just wore out there what I went to dinner with or went out dancing in… It’s part of my personality. I dress kind of funky off the court too.

I feel a little better now. She’s just working out some abandonment issues. The pink dress is an eff you to her old sponsor!

Over soon? Apparently she’s in talks with Nike as a clothing sponsor. As much as I rag on her, I think she would look AMAZING in their collections. Nike is very boobs-friendly.

seen around roland garros: mary pierce

May 30, 2008

A 2000 flashback: Not to be outdone by the cameo of fellow 2000 titlist Guga Kuerten, Mary Pierce also made an appearance at this year’s tourney. She stopped by the set of Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight (with host Bill Macatee).

If you remember, both Guga and Mary showed up at last year’s singles trophy ceremonies…

(photo for TSF courtesy of Tennis Channel)

how to be a mollasson

May 22, 2008

French Open couch potatoes: read on!

The schedule for Tennis Channel’s coverage of Roland Garros is after the cut…

agassi interview in the april issue of tennis

March 12, 2008

Almost two years after leaving the sport, tennis icon Andre Agassi has found new challenges as a father and businessman, and admits while he still loves the game, “I don’t feel like a tennis player anymore.” He tells Peter Bodo in an exclusive interview in the April issue of TENNIS Magazine, “When I dig out my racquets because I’ve donated a lesson for charity or something, I’ll look at them and say, ‘Wow, this is what I used to do for a living.’”

Although he did say he still watches a lot of tennis. “We don’t have the television on in the house unless we’re watching something specific, but during the Australian Open, I had it on all the time, tuned to Tennis Channel.”

Interviewed in an empty classroom of the eponymous College Preparatory Academy, the school he founded in Las Vegas to help disadvantaged children, Agassi talks in depth about his life after retirement, his children (with wife Steffi Graf), Roger Federer, drug testing and gambling in tennis as well as his latest sporting adventure — snowboarding.

Read more: Highlights from the article after the cut…

sketches of the open’s humble broadcasters

September 5, 2007

Those of us neither out in Flushing, nor subscribers to extremely high-end satellite packages with live feeds, are ultimately resolved to endure CBS’ weekend coverage. As green as TTC proved to be in covering their inaugural slam at this year’s French Open, one perversely hopes that they’ll gain enough leverage to buy out CBS’ Open contract.

NBC is not without substantial guilt for its own slam (RG and Wimbledon) coverage, but the combustible pairing of a major network and its home (okay, American) slam leads to far too much spoon-feeding of emotion and drama, akin to the worst of a Hollywood movie.

We as viewers are savvy enough to bring our own sense of meaning to any given match or storyline (and, if there isn’t one, then we can always fast-forward). Serious tennis fans can really do without the amped-up graphics, schlocky promos, and sentimental broadcasters, not to mention the three-to-one ads-to-tennis ratio.

It was quite a jolt adapting from USA’s coverage to that of CBS’: what with the eye strain adjustments to deal with all the bleached out and overly sunlit footage. (Can’t they just use the same filter that USA does?)

And whoever decided to greenlight those pre-match interviews should be hung.

Hey, at least the CBS commentators are a relatively known bunch.

  • Bill Macatee — basically innocuous, with an even more sterilized persona than on USA.
  • Mary Carillo — she’s her usual effervescent and laugh-happy self, a solid and colorful voice, if at times a bit too harsh. (It’s hard to erase the memory of her referring to Davydenko, back when he was ranked #3, not only as “the most anonymous #3 player in the world ever,” but also as “a total mook”.)
  • John McEnroe — Mac has become familiar enough in the booth that he’s not too hard to tune out, or at least tune down. Mac can bring brilliant analysis to the table for any given match, which he deserves credit for, but his overall vibe gets watered down by an ego untethered and run amok. Somehow the CBS dynamic doesn’t allow him quite the forum for inevitable self-aggrandizements.
  • Patrick McEnroe — P-Mac’s commentary is overall equal to John’s, if only because he’s more consistent and doesn’t indulge in his own accomplishments (perhaps just a function of having far fewer than his brother?). His pairing with Mac for the Nadal-Tsonga match was both fun and efficient. His broadcast voice has come off as a bit thinner than it has on ESPN.
  • Ian (pronounced EYE-en) Eagle — not only a capable but even an enjoyable play-by-play guy; newest to the team. It’s a shame he’s been relegated to something of a transition host with minimal air time.
  • Dick Enberg — give this guy an opportunity to sentimentalize, and he’ll take it and run. He’s actually a fine commentator, but over the years most of us have gotten more our fill; and, within the confines of CBS (Enberg joined ESPN’s Aussie Open coverage last year), it all feels just that much more mainstream.

Up next: a look at USA Network’s coverage.

(photo by artnwine1)

Michael Shaw is currently following the Open from his couch on the West Coast.

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage
>> michael shaw archive

short balls “c” edition: carson, canas, cbs, college tennis, etc.

May 8, 2007

It’s on for Carson: The city adds a few more notches to its tennis belt. The Home Depot Center will host both a men’s and women’s Challenger tournaments in the early summer.

Not so fast, TTC: CBS announced that they have cut a more profitable deal with the USTA in renewing their coverage of the U.S. Open and U.S. Open series tournaments. CBS has rights through 2011. And the TTC is chugging along with its own plans of domination, offering free previews of the channel in different media markets. (via Variety and Tennis News)

Roger & Me: The only thing I love more than stories about meeting players are references to I Love Lucy. [via Kenneth in the (212)]

canas roma 07Canas has finally arrived: The TimesNeil Harman sums up Guillermo Canasreturn to tennis elite after a 15-month doping-related suspension. Sad moment: soon after the doping scandal broke, Canas was turned away from the U.S. Open as a spectator.

After this week’s TMS Rome, the Argentinian will no longer need to play qualies. And he has no points to defend between now and September. Will he join the rest of the top 20, picking up Federer’s sloppy seconds, or will he be feasting from the Swiss rankings pie? Something tells me it’s the latter. He’s currently 3-1 against the world number one.

Local NCAA players return to Athens: Pepperdine looks to repeat as the men’s team champions, Trojan Lindsey Nelson looks to avenge her loss in last year’s final against Cardinal Suzi Babos (who Nelson beat in last month’s Pac-10 championship), and UCLA’s Benjamin Kohlloeffel will defend his men’s singles crown.

Borg’s back: After a seven-year absence, Wimbledon legend Bjorn Borg will make an appearance at this year’s tournament. He seems to have made peace with the sport after all these years. The Swede will also play the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament (an exhibition, of course) in mid-June. (via the Evening Standard)

DirecTV a boon to The Tennis Channel, tennis

April 27, 2007

Editor’s note: CBHM is hosting former TennisJuicer JNP as a guest blogger. JNP will contribute five posts between now and the end of the 2007 French Open.

Thousands of DirecTV-using tennis fans got their wish on Monday: DirecTV announced that they have reached an agreement with The Tennis Channel and will finally be carrying TTC starting this summer. Part of DirecTV’s plans include an agreement with ESPN to share U.S. cable TV and multimedia rights for the French Open and Australian Open through 2011.

TTC is currently estimated to be in about 10 million homes nationwide, and is projected to be in 6 to 8 million more homes once the channel is available on DirecTV. The growth of this channel will not only help avid tennis fans get their daily fix of coverage, but will hopefully lead to innovative techniques in covering matches and a better perspective of the international feel for the game. After all, doesn’t more match coverage mean more views from around the globe? What’s wrong with that?

This deal is coming at just the right time… Federer vs. Nadal is easily one of the most important and interesting rivalries in sports. TTC’s expansion can potentially lead to these big matches being available to many, many more people. This is a step in the right direction, even if you can’t afford DirecTV or Dish — you will have one more reason to work hard, improve your life, and, get the gift that is The Tennis Channel.

JNP can be reached at tenniscbh AT gmail DOT com.

RELATED POSTS
>> directv and the french open
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short balls: african tennis, marat mania, french open tv

April 2, 2007

Tennis Hooligans: Here’s a fan’s take on attending both the Tennis Channel Open and the Pacific Life Open to see some good tennis stalk Marat Safin. And another one of the Lady Hooligans posted her ode to Marat. Make sure to click on the second YouTube video, to see a goofy clip.

Finding Africa’s next great hope: Jeanne Ashe reopened the South African tennis center named for (and co-founded by) her late husband, Arthur Ashe. The country needs get back on the tennis map; it’s been a little while since Wayne Ferreira retired. (via espn.com)

Self-serving patriotism?: The Russian Fed Cup team added Maria Sharapova to their roster for the first round tie against Spain. She’s never played Fed Cup before, and is likely participating to make herself eligible for the Beijing Olympics. (via espn.com)

Roaming the grounds of Roland Garros: DirecTV announced its plans for the French Open. Like the coverage it provided in partnership with the Tennis Channel for last year’s U.S. Open, DirecTV will “offer multiple live channels from the tournament, as well as a special ‘French Open Mix’ channel that will feature all live feeds.” (via Multichannel News)

More info about the red-striped 2007 Roland Garros poster here.

RELATED POSTS
>> short balls: a prodigy, a renaissance, and tennis on film
>> short balls: billie jean king for HRC, sharapova on chernobyl, jon wertheim, etc.
>> short balls: an aussie edition


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