Thursday July 18th, 2024 7:43AM

TNT Sports reaches 10-year deal to carry the French Open beginning next year

By The Associated Press

Warner Bros. Discovery and the French Tennis Federation made official on Tuesday what had been revealed over the weekend — the French Open will air on TNT Sports in the United States beginning next year.

TV sportscaster Noah Eagle announced at the end of NBC’s coverage on Sunday that TNT Sports would be the new home of the tournament.

The 10-year agreement will average $65 million per year, a jump from the $25-30 million a year the French Tennis Federation had received from NBC and Tennis Channel for the U.S. rights.

NBC first aired the second leg of tennis' Grand Slam in 1975, and had been doing it uninterrupted since 1983.

“Once it became clear that the rights were available we jumped quickly and then went to Paris and explained the vision for what we wanted to do with the tournament,” TNT Sports chairman and CEO Luis Silberwasser said. “We painted a vision where we’re not only talking to the tennis fan, but we want to talk to the sports fan overall. I don’t want to say that it was done quickly, but it was done in a relatively short amount of time.”

TNT will be the lead network for coverage, with additional matches airing on TBS and truTV. Every match from the tournament will also be streamed on Max. Highlights and other content will also be available on Bleacher Report, House of Highlights and HighlightHER.

The new contract brings the French Open on the same level as the coverage of the other three Grand Slam tournaments, which are carried by ESPN. Every match from every court for the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open are on the ESPN+ streaming service. ESPN also airs coverage from all three on multiple channels during select windows.

French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton said in a statement that the new agreement “will enable the federation to ensure maximum exposure for Roland Garros in the USA and help further promote the tournament.”

Warner Bros. Discovery already had a history with the French Open. It had aired the tournament on Eurosport since 1989 and distributed coverage to 55 countries outside the United States.

TNT would likely begin promoting the French Open during its coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in March, and would continue that through their coverage of the NHL and NBA playoffs.

TNT will air two College Football Playoff games on Dec. 21 and has four NASCAR races beginning next year, but its future carrying the NBA remains up in the air as discussions continue with the league on a new rights agreement, which would begin with the 2025-26 season.


AP tennis:

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