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WASHINGTON, DC, May 12, 2008 — The USTA, ESPN and Tennis Channel today announced a groundbreaking six-year television and multi-platform partnership creating a summer-long “Open Season” for tennis featuring more than 400 national television hours for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. Covington & Burling LLP advised the USTA on the transaction.
Commencing in 2009, ESPN and Tennis Channel will join CBS, and become the US Open cable television broadcasters for the first time. ESPN2 will become the lead cable broadcaster for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series, broadcasting nearly 200 hours of tennis coverage during the eight-week North American summer tennis season. Tennis Channel, which continues as a Series broadcaster with nearly 150 hours of Series coverage, will now also broadcast more than 60 hours of live US Open coverage. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast nearly 40 hours of live US Open coverage.
The six-year deal will also deliver the US Open across multiple platforms including ESPN, ESPN2, Tennis Channel, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN International, ESPN360 broadband programming, ESPN.com, TennisChannel.com, and ESPN Mobile Properties. In addition, USOpen.org retains all rights to live streaming of US Open matches.
The Covington team was led by Washington corporate lawyer Doug Gibson.
Covington’s sports law practice is among the most far-reaching and well-regarded in the nation, representing, among others, the United States Tennis Association, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League, as well as a number of professional clubs. The practice has received top ranking from Chambers USA in the “Sports Law” category.