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History[ edit ] In , the Tennis Channel was founded by Steve Bellamy , who soon hired Bruce Rider to head up programming and marketing. Dooley —became involved in the founding of the channel.
This group invested and rounded up additional investors, Bain Capital Ventures , J.
These founders felt with other single sports channel like the Golf Channel succeeding with a mostly male demographic and tennis having viewer of both sexes and of a desirable high-end demographic that a tennis channel would draw in advertisers.
As the channel had not broadcast any of the four Grand Slam tournaments by then.
The subscriber base was only 5 million in On May 25, , the network also launched Tennis Channel Plus, a new direct-to-consumer subscription service including coverage of additional events not seen on television, also including digital rights to the French Open outside of the finals.
Tennis Channel carriers receive a cut of profits from the service.
The event was formerly part of the US Open Series , but withdrew due to frustration over ESPN rightsholder of the series due to its new contract to be exclusive broadcaster of the US Open proper only promising a limited amount of television coverage.
In the statement announcing the purchase Sinclair CEO David Smith said that Tennis Channel had high-quality content and advertisers, though it had been valued low and was under-distributed.
In addition, citing its preference to hold rights to the entire tournament, ESPN dropped its sub-licensing agreement with Tennis Channel for the French Open, giving it exclusive cable rights to the tournament NBC continues to be the broadcast television rightsholder.
The tournament also re-joined the US Open Series under new ownership.