05.23.2008 08:00 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
DIRECTV offers multiscreen interactivity for French Open

This year, French Open tennis fans will see six live tennis matches at once with a variety of two-way features on DIRECTV’s upcoming French Open Interactive coverage of the big tournament that begins on May 25. Viewers will be able to take advantage of this interactive service throughout the day, with shared coverage from the Tennis Channel and ESPN. That’s in addition to the action being broadcast in full 1080i HDTV with surround sound.

Produced by DIRECTV in collaboration with the Tennis Channel and ESPN2, French Open Interactive now includes complete coverage of play on five courts during the tournament’s first six days and eight hours of coverage on Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1.

Throughout the first eight days, customers can also instantly access scores and match schedules for all the action from Paris. In total, French Open Interactive on DIRECTV offers 350 hours of live championship tennis.

The “center court” of the coverage will be the interactive French Open Mix channel. Fans can simultaneously view up to six live matches, including the featured match on the Tennis Channel or ESPN2 (both available in HD), highlight each cell to listen to the live audio feed and tune to each match full-screen view.

The interactive applications will be available on all channels, providing fans with instant access to live scores, upcoming matches and match results.

Last year, DIRECTV broadcast more than 5000 hours of live interactive sports programming, with nearly 2 million homes using one or more the satellite service’s interactive sports applications. Viewers accessed the applications more than 171 million times throughout the year. And viewers who used the interactive features during broadcasts typically watched the channels significantly longer than those who didn’t.

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