Tennis Channel to Show French Open in 3D
May 17, 2011
The Tennis Channel will broadcast more than 20 hours of 3D coverage of the French Open tennis tournament. 3D programming of the matches—all from Philippe Chatrier Court during Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, will be carried on AT&T U-verse, Comcast and DirecTV.
This marks the second tennis grand slam tournament to be shown in 3D to the public. The US Open was shown on CBS in 3D in 2010 and 3D test footage was shot of the French Open, also last year. The BBC announced in March that it would broadcast parts of Wimbledon in 3D in July.
“Tennis Channel prides itself on bringing this sport to our viewers through state-of-the-art broadcast quality that’s second to none,” said Larry Meyers, executive producer and senior vice president, production, Tennis Channel. “In keeping with this, we’re happy to work with AT&T U-verse, Comcast and DirecTV to be the first network to offer the French Open to U.S. audiences in 3-D. We always say we want viewers to feel like they’re actually in Paris at the French Open when they tune into Tennis Channel, and the images of red clay flying through their televisions at them in 3-D this year will only add to this effort.”
In all Tennis Channel’s fifth year at the French Open will bring more than 75 hours of live or first-run matches to viewers, with another dozen hours of men’s and women’s semifinal same-day encores. The network will carry at least seven live hours a day for the first nine days of the competition, with coverage beginning at 5 a.m. ET.
Tennis Channel is working with ESPN2 to provide almost non-stop coverage between the two networks. On most days Tennis Channel’s live matches run from 5 a.m.-noon ET, at which point ESPN2 takes the court until 6:30 p.m. ET, then hands it back over to Tennis Channel’s “French Open Tonight,” which then runs through the night until the next day’s play. Tennis Channel produces all coverage for both channels, with each cross-promoting the other’s schedule and making use of its own on-air team. All French Open production is in high definition.
Online, Tennis Channel will stream 200 hours of 125 matches over 10 days for free on www.tennischannel.com. The video player has been upgraded for faster speed and high-definition quality. Other new features include picture-in-picture tools, digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities and the option of watching multiple courts simultaneously. Tennis Channel says that with its extensive video-on-demand archives, the Web site’s new video player will allow a site visitor to have up to 20 screens of different matches playing at the same time.