via press release:
ESPN & the French Open: Top-Ranked Nadal, Wozniacki Challenged by Djokovic, Sharapova
Action on ESPN2 HD, ESPN3.com & More Starts Sunday, May 22; Women’s Semis Live June 2
Fans Can Follow the Action Wherever They Are via ESPN Platforms
The best players in tennis will gather on the red clay of Paris for the second Grand Slam tournament of the year – Roland Garros, the 2011 French Open – beginning on ESPN2 HD when the event begins on Sunday, May 22. The network will present more than 56 hours, all in high definition, culminating with the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 2. In addition, ESPN3.com will have nearly 350 hours of exclusive a multi-court offering, also starting May 22, including simulcasts of ESPN2’s telecasts.
ESPN networks present all four Grand Slam events and have televised the French Open 1986 – 1993 and since 2002. ESPN3.com delivers unmatched broadband coverage of the sport’s four majors and all ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments.
Both sides of the draw present intriguing storylines. Defending and five-time champ Rafael Nadal is the top-ranked male, but this year has lost four finals – including two on clay the last two weeks – to No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who rides a 37-0 record for 2011 into Paris. On the women’s side, world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki seeks her first major title, and may have to seek revenge against Maria Sharapova who beat her en route to winning the championship last week in Rome.
After the opening day, ESPN2’s schedule will continue Tuesday, May 24 – Friday, May 27, and resume on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, and continue to June 2. ESPN2 will generally begin each day at noon – directly following Tennis Channel’s morning programming – and continue until 6:30 p.m., except for June 2 with the women’s semifinals starting at 8 a.m. ET. (See schedule below.) All the action on ESPN2 is also available online through ESPNnetworks.com, which is accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
In addition, ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language U.S. sports network, will televise 18 hours from Paris starting Tuesday, May 24, and culminating with the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 2. Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Toni Pena, Eduardo Varela and Jose Luis Clerc will call the matches, which will be chosen specifically for the network’s audience
Cliff Drysdale, the dean of ESPN’s tennis team, will be joined by Darren Cahill, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Chris Fowler will host and call matches. Chris McKendry will also return as an on-site host.
For the fifth consecutive year, ESPN2 is working with Tennis Channel to bring viewers an almost around-the-clock tournament experience, with each channel cross-promoting the other’s schedule. Tennis Channel will produce all coverage for both channels, with each making use of its own on-air team.
ESPN3.com has increased its French Open coverage for 2011 to nearly 350 hours with a multi-screen offering of up to seven courts and ESPN2’s coverage on the days the network is televising. ESPN3.com will begin each day early in the morning with the first ball in the air and continue to the last shot of the day. Matches will also be available after they take place via VOD. The same service –called ESPN360.com – is also available in Latin America with the same programming as in the U.S. with Spanish commentary.
ESPN3.com is ESPN's live sports broadband network, a 24/7 online destination that delivers thousands of live, global sports events annually. It is currently available in nearly 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable TV video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.
Other ESPN Platforms
Fans will have a variety of ways to follow the French Open with live action and updates on an array of ESPN platforms wherever they are and regardless of whether there is live television offered.
ESPN’s SportsCenter – in particular the live editions from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET – will follow the action closely with frequent updates, highlights and reports from Paris, which will include live look-ins during SportsCenter when ESPN2 is on the air.
ESPN.com will provide comprehensive coverage before, during and after the French Open, highlighted by an enhanced Courtcast section – real-time scoring from all courts, plus continuous live polling with results revealed immediately in ESPN2’s telecasts. In addition to all the results, news, analysis, schedules and more, ESPN.com will provide live blogging throughout the tournament so fans can follow the action even when there is no live television coverage. Also, fans can watch Digital Serve daily with ESPN2 commentators discussing the latest action and previewing key matches on the days ESPN2 is on the air. Other details:
- The Latest Dirt – a daily notebook roundup of all the day’s action;
- Center Court – a tennis video show featured each week on all the major news from Roland Garros;
- Star Watch – a blog that will peruse the grounds and give fans an inside look at what the top players are up to.
ESPN Interactive TV, exclusive to DIRECTV, will present the French Open showing ESPN2 or Tennis Channel’s live coverage along with five other courts available with commentary. Other features include interactive data, the tournament draw, up-to-date scores, and daily order of play.
ESPN Mobile TV, a 24/7 channel for wireless on AT&T U-Verse Live TV, Sprint TV, T-Mobile TV, and MobiTV platforms, will provide 53 hours of live coverage, simulcasting most of ESPN2’s live programming, highlighted by the women’s semifinals Thursday, June 2.
The WatchESPN App, for fans with Apple or Android devices and who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV, will present ESPN2’s live coverage, in addition to ESPN3.com’s multi-screen offering.
ESPN International will present up to 130 hours of the French Open to more than 60 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on a variety of regional networks. Matches will be chosen based on local interest and commentary will be offered in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
Almost all the tennis is found on ESPN2, giving the network the identity as the destination for tennis fans and giving the sport a home that is flexible enough to carry extensive live programming – and adding to the schedule as storylines dictate. In addition, broadband network ESPN3.com, now in nearly 70 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus all ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments, usually with additional, exclusive matches. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
2011 French Open on ESPN2 & ESPN2 HD
|Sun, May 22||1 – 6:30 p.m.||First Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Tue, May 24||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||First Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, May 25||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, May 26||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Fri, May 27||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Third Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Mon, May 30||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Round of 16||Live & Same-day action|
|Tue, May 31||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, June 1||Noon – 6:30 p.m.||Men’s Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, June 2||8 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Women’s Semifinals||Live|
2011 French Open on ESPN3.com
|Sun, May 22||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||First Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Tue, May 24||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||First Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, May 25||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, May 26||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Fri, May 27||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Third Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Mon, May 30||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Round of 16||Live & Same-day action|
|Tue, May 31||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, June 1||5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.||Men’s Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, June 2||5 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Women’s Semifinals||Live|
2011 French Open on ESPN Deportes
|Tue, May 24||Noon – 2 p.m.||First Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, May 25||Noon – 2 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, May 26||Noon – 2 p.m.||Second Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Fri, May 27||Noon – 2 p.m.||Third Round||Live & Same-day action|
|Mon, May 30||Noon – 2 p.m.||Round of 16||Live & Same-day action|
|Tue, May 31||Noon – 2 p.m.||Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Wed, June 1||Noon – 2 p.m.||Men’s Quarterfinals||Live & Same-day action|
|Thur, June 2||8 a.m. – 12 noon||Women’s Semifinals||Live|