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2009 Australian Open Tennis ESPN Broadcast Information

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:56 PM, under , , ,

Athens, GA (Jan 13, 2008) - ESPN is getting ready to televise 100 lives hours of television, and 430+ live hours on broadband, as they begin coverage of their 25th Australian Open on January 19, 2009. Before going on, here is one of the commercials produced by Australian Open TV:



Cliff Drysdale – who has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast in 1979 – and sportscasting legend Dick Enberg lead the broadcast team, along with Hall of Famer Bud Collins as analyst and essayist. Chris Fowler will again host and call select matches, with returnees former Australian star player-turned coach Darren Cahill, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe, and Pam Shriver, who will primarily serve as a courtside reporter. In addition, reporters Tiffany Cherry of ESPN International, a Melbourne native, and Tom Rinaldi will contribute features, news and interviews during event coverage and on SportsCenter.

Here is the ESPN broadcast schedule:









Date

Time (ET)

Event

Platform


Thur., Jan. 15

6 p.m.

Bracket Draw

ESPN360.com & ESPN Mobile TV

LIVE

Sun., Jan. 18

7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Early round play

ESPN2

LIVE


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE

Mon., Jan. 19

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN260.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Tue., Jan. 20

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Wed., Jan. 21

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Thur., Jan. 22

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Fri., Jan. 23

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 – 9:30 p.m.

ESPN2

LIVE


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


11:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Sat., Jan. 24

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN360.com

LIVE


10 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Sun., Jan. 25

3:30 – 8 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


Noon – 5 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


7 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Round of 16

ESPN360.com

LIVE


9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

ESPN2

LIVE

Mon., Jan. 26

3:30 – 6 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE

Tue., Jan. 27

3:30 – 6 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE

Wed., Jan. 28

3:30 – 6 a.m.

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 7 p.m.

ESPN2

Same-day


9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Women’s Semifinals

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE

Thurs., Jan. 29

3:30 – 6 a.m.

Men’s Semifinal #1

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 6 p.m.

Men’s Semifinal #1

ESPN2

reair

Fri., Jan. 30

3:30 – 6 a.m.

Men’s Semifinal #2

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 6 p.m.

Men’s Semifinal #2

ESPN2

reair

Sat., Jan. 31

3:30 – 5:30 a.m.

Women’s Final

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


9 – 11 a.m.

Women’s Final

ESPN2

reair


8 – 10 p.m.

Women’s Final

ESPN2

reair

Sun. Feb. 1

3:30 – 6:30 a.m.

Men’s Final

ESPN2 & ESPN360.com

LIVE


3 – 8 p.m.

Men’s & Women’s Finals

ESPN2

reair



and more information from ESPN:

Starting Sunday, Jan. 18, ESPN will do something no U.S. network has ever done: televise all four of tennis’ Grand Slam events in a single year. The tennis season begins with ESPN’s 25th Australian Open: nearly 100 hours of primetime and overnight coverage on ESPN2 plus 57 more in afternoon reairs. In addition, broadband ESPN360.com will offer more than 430 hours – all live from Melbourne, with users choosing between action on six courts. Play will begin on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. ET and will continue through the women’s and men’s finals live Saturday, Jan. 31, and Sunday, Feb. 1, respectively. ESPN has televised the Australian Open since 1984 (there was no event in 1986), the French Open since 2002 (and 1986 – 1993), Wimbledon since 2003 and is adding the US Open this year.

“To be involved with all four Grand Slam events is a major moment in ESPN history and we are proud to begin the year with our silver anniversary in Australia, one of the longest relationships in sports television,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “Tennis fans can sit back and enjoy all the sport’s premiere events all year on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com, brought to you by the people they know well, respect and enjoy.”

Reflective of ESPN’s new role carrying all four Grand Slam tournaments, the coverage will feature new animation, graphics, music and scoreboard. In addition, new on-air promos spotlight ESPN’s Grand Slam coverage and each event.

In addition, where appropriate ESPN’s SportsCenter – including the new live weekday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. editions – and ESPNEWS will endeavor live look-ins to the action. Also, ESPN Deportes will present Spanish-language coverage in the U.S. and ESPN International will bring the event to viewers around the world.

Before the action begins, the random selection of the men’s and women’s brackets will be available on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV Thursday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.

TV: IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD


DID YOU KNOW?

ESPN’s Bud Collins, Cliff Drysdale and Dick Enberg have worked -- or, in Drysdale’s case, played -- in approximately 286 Grand Slam events as of the end of 2008.

ESPN2’s Australian Open programming will generally consist of three shows each day: live coverage in the evening starting Sunday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., live matches at 3:30 a.m., and at least three hours of same-day action the next afternoon at 3 p.m. As with the French Open, ESPN2 is working with Tennis Channel to bring fans virtually round-the-clock coverage during the Australian Open. ESPN2 is producing all Australian Open coverage for both networks, with each channel utilizing its own commentators.

ESPN Deportes – the fulltime Spanish-language U.S. network – will televise 55 hours (including re-airs), January 19 through the finals. The commentators will be Luís Alfredo Álvarez, Eduardo Varela and former players José Luís Clerc and Javier Frana.

ESPN Interactive TV, exclusive to DIRECTV, will present the Australian Open for the first time, using a six-screen “mixed channel.” For 7-8 hours per night during the first eight days of the tournament, viewers will be able to watch the ESPN2 feed or one of five other courts, all with commentary. In addition, the women’s and men’s final will be available for one month after the conclusion of the tournament.

ESPN VOD (Video On Demand) is offering the 2009 Australian Open Preview Show up to the beginning of the tournament. The Women's Finals will be edited to a 30-minute summary and offered for a month starting Sunday, Feb. 1. The Men's Finals will be offered as a 30-minute highlight and be offered for a month starting Monday, Feb. 2.

In Latin America, ESPN International will provide two weeks of extensive live coverage over three different networks. The pan-regional ESPN networks in Latin America (in South and Central America) will showcase the biggest names in tennis along with players of local relevance in 100 hours, including the women’s and men’s finals. In the Southern Cone, ESPN+ (pronounced "mas") will air a minimum of 30 hours of complementary coverage in primetime throughout the early rounds. Additionally, ESPN Brasil will also show another 20+ hours of live coverage in the early morning hours.

SPORTSCENTER IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD

In the U.S., throughout the tournament ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPNEWS – the 24-hour all-sports news network – will look to show live “look-ins” to play in progress, as storylines dictate. Miguel Simón will provide reports from onsite for ESPN Deportes’ SportsCenter.

Other SportsCenters from ESPN International’s editions around the world will have reporters on site. Simón will provide reports for the Spanish-language SportsCenter aired in Latin America. Melbourne native Tiffany Cherry will offer updates for SportsCenter editions aired in Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Israel, and Anthony Howard will provide updates for international editions of SportsCenter.

PREVIEWING 2009

Novak Djokovic will defend his crown against a strong men’s field led by Roger Federer, who has won the Australian Open three times. Federer will be seeking to tie Pete Sampras’ record of 14 career Grand Slam titles. The women’s side is wide open upon the recent withdrawal of defending champion Maria Sharapova.

Patrick McEnroe: “It’s a phenomenal time in men’s tennis.”

McEnroe says the Big Two is now the Big Four, and that the level of play at the top has never been better:

This has the makings of one of the most competitive years ever in men’s tennis. Four guys have separated themselves at the top, with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray joining the Big Two, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Maybe each of them will win one slam this year. Murray is off to a great start, and on hard courts he has as good a game as anyone. As for Roger, he is healthy, had a good offseason and is eager. Having lost his long standing at #1, the week-to-week pressure is off and he is more concerned with another number – 15, what would be a new record for career Grand Slam titles. With 13 now, I expect he’ll at least tie Sampras at 14 this year.

“It’s a phenomenal time in men’s tennis. Years ago we had players with certain weapons or strengths. Now our top players have all-around games. Yet they possess different styles and distinct personalities. This year it is going to be very competitive to be ranked #1.

Mary Carillo: “The storylines are intriguing.”

Carillo says that despite the recent withdrawal of defending champion Maria Sharapova, the women’s field is filled with legitimate title contenders, both familiar and new.

On the women's side the storylines are intriguing. Sharapova's shoulder is keeping her from defending her title, which was as good and commanding a performance as she's ever given. Last year she won her third major without dropping a set – her serve was the dominant factor. After the glorious start to her season, Maria injured her shoulder, required surgery, and has decided she's not ready for Melbourne. This is a bad blow indeed....

“The good news is that no. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic has worked very hard in the offseason and should be in very good form as she tries to win her first major. That she's beefed up her physical regimen means that she should end rallies quicker and save herself for the latter rounds of a the majors – that could be the deciding factor for her. Ana Ivanovic followed up her Australian Open finalist effort with her first major at Roland Garros, before pressure and injuries got to her. But she's been practicing hard and is probably better equipped emotionally to handle the demands of her status. And the Williams sisters are coming into Melbourne with more experience and understanding of the changing seasons than anyone. They were both Grand Slam titlists last year, and either one of them can win this thing.

“Other contenders: Dinara Safina, absolutely. Very powerful and keen after last year's breakthrough. She copes well in hot weather and has truly grown up. And though Elena Dementieva has never yet brought her best form to Melbourne, she should be feeling pretty good after her US Open semifinal run and her gold in Beijing.

“This should be fun.”

Over the years, the Australian Open has provided ESPN viewers many wonderful memories:

  • In the 1984 semifinals, Helena Sukova upsets Martina Navratilova 1-6, 6-3, 7-5, ending Navratilova’s record 74-match win streak and thwarting her attempt at a seventh consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • In the 2003 quarterfinals, Andy Roddick wins an epic 21-19 fifth set vs. Younes el-Aynaoui.
  • In 2008, ESPN2 sticks with live coverage through two scheduled breaks, resulting in 14 hours, 43 minutes of consecutive live tennis (Friday at 9:54 p.m. – Saturday 12:37 p.m.), no doubt the longest live sports telecast in U.S. history. It is followed by a scheduled reair until 5 p.m., resulting in 19+ straight hours of tennis. The action is highlighted by three five-set matches: James Blake winning 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6, 6-2 over Sebastien Grosjean; Roger Federer outlasting Janko Tipsarevic 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1, 10-8; and Lleyton Hewitt ousting Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in a match that ended at 4:32 a.m. in Melbourne. The fifth sets are aired commercial-free.

GREAT MATCHES FROM THE PAST ON ESPN CLASSIC

On Sunday, Jan. 18, the day the tournament starts, ESPN Classic will get fans ready with a quintet of memorable matches from a quarter century of coverage, as well as a one-hour preview show, starting at 7a.m.:

7 – 9 a.m.: 1996 Australian Open Finals, Anke Huber vs. Monica Seles - Monica Seles 6-4, 6-1 victory over Germany's Anke Huber was her first Grand Slam title since her comeback began in 1995. It was also her first Grand Slam title as a U.S. citizen and it also proved to be the final Grand Slam title of her career.

9 – 11 a.m.: 1995 Australian Open Quarterfinals, Pete Sampras vs. Jim Courier - Defending champion Pete Sampras, troubled by the health problems of his coach Tim Gullickson, wept in the middle of his Australian Open match with Jim Courier. Sampras would come back from two sets down for the second straight match and win 6-7 (7-4), 6-7 (7-3), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a four-hour marathon to reach the semifinals.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: 2000 Australian Open Semifinals, Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras – Agassi and Sampras put on a show for the film archives, Agassi winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (0), 7-6 (5), 6-1 to become the first man to reach four straight Grand Slam finals since Rod Laver swept them all in 1969.

1 – 3 p.m.: 2003 Australian Open Finals Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams – Serena Williams survived an error-filled match to beat older sister Venus 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4 to win the Australian Open for her fourth straight major championship.

3 – 6 p.m.: 2003 Australian Open Quarterfinal: Andy Roddick vs Younes El Aynaoui - Andy Roddick wins a marathon five-set quarterfinal. In a battle of wills, the American Roddick out dueled the Moroccan 4-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 21-19. The match lasted 4 hours and 59 minutes and they walked off the court hand in hand.

6 – 7 p.m.: Australian Open Preview Show

DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD

After the selection of the bracket draw Thursday, Jan. 15 (see above), ESPN360.com will expand its broadband coverage to include no fewer than six live feeds from various courts – including the women’s and men’s semifinals and finals – plus a simulcast of ESPN2’s live coverage, totaling more than 430 hours. For the first eight days (Jan. 18 – 25), coverage will commence at 7 p.m. (11 a.m. in Melbourne, when play begins). The courts to be included are the “TV courts,” the ones most likely to have top matches: Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Margaret Court Arena, plus Courts 2, 3 and 6. For the remainder of the tournament, ESPN360.com will continue the ESPN2 simulcast, and will carry the women’s (Jan. 31) and men’s (Feb. 1) finals.

Each window of coverage will be available for on-demand replay following its completion. With ESPN360.com’s dynamic interface, tennis fans will be able to fast-forward, rewind and pause action – during both on-demand replay and live action coverage.

ESPN360.com is ESPN's broadband sports television network, a 24/7 online destination delivering more than 3,000 live, global sports events annually. It is available at no cost to fans with a high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. In 2008, distribution grew to more than 24 million homes, up 40 percent year-to-year and more than triple just two years ago. It is available via more than 20 Internet service providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with “.edu” and “.mil” domains).

ESPN.com will debut Slam Central, featuring video highlights, original podcasts from the ESPN PodCenter (http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/index) and news and analysis from ESPN.com and Tennis.com. Other contributors: ESPN.com’s senior tennis writer Bonnie D. Ford, as well as additional coverage from Ravi Ubha, Kamakshi Tandon and Sandra Harwitt.

ESPNdeportes.com, the leading sports Web Site for Spanish-speaking fans in the U.S. and Latin America, will provide unmatched coverage with the latest news and results, high-quality video, chats and columns, daily polls and more.

Outside the U.S., for the first time ever, ESPN will transmit live multiple court coverage via its broadband service ESPN360.com Mexico – over 600 hours of live coverage from the first day all the way through to the finals, while ESPN360.com Chile will air the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals live via broadband.

ESPN MOBILE TV

ESPN Mobile TV, a 24/7 channel for wireless, will provide more than 80 hours of live coverage, starting with the bracket draw Friday, Jan. 16. ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN’s first 24/7 wireless channel that is not a simulcast of any existing ESPN network, offers full-length live events including college football and basketball, NBA, NASCAR, MLS and more. It also offers content from Mike & Mike in the Morning, First Take and Pardon the Interruption. ESPN Mobile TV is available through MobiTV and on MediaFLO USA’s mobile entertainment service.

Also, fans on the go can follow the action on their mobile phones via ESPN MVP with highlights and analysis as well as one touch access to their favorite ESPN.com columnists.

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. JS says:

    Where is John McEnroe the most completent analyst/commentator of tennis? Patrick is great, but Dick Enberg and Bud Collins?--please. Is this the team that we can expect for the 2009 season? JS

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