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Channel Nine Expands Tennis Portfolio With ATP Cup Rights Deal

Channel Nine has expanded its tennis portfolio by securing the first TV rights deal for the new ATP Cup, a men’s tennis tournament between competing nations which will feature 24 teams and have the highest prize-money outside of a major grand slam.

The package is part of an expanded tennis slate, which sees the broadcaster also extend the coverage of the 2020 Australian Open Grand Slam in Melbourne to its free 9Gem digital TV multichannel, in addition to carrying every match via its NineNow network.

In addition to Nine’s coverage, the Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) own over-the-top (OTT) service, Tennis TV, will also stream the tour’s newest event, created in partnership between the global men’s tennis governing body and Tennis Australia.

“Last year, more than 14.4 million Aussies tuned in to our Summer of Tennis. In 2020 it will be even bigger,” Nine’s director of sport, Tom Malone, said.

“We will again bring a dynamic broadcasting approach to what is an unmissable festival of summer – delivering the matches, atmosphere and fun to Aussies to appeal more deeply to every type of fan, all the way from the fanatic to the festivalgoer.

“Not only we will have an additional two days of coverage on 9Gem, showing more matches on linear TV than in 2019, but this is also part of our expanded coverage which will capitalise on the great lead-in offered by the ATP Cup.

“This will build national momentum in the run-up to the hugely successful Australian Open.”

Nine reached a deal with Tennis Australia and the Seven Network in June this year, which saw Nine, who had already secured the rights for tennis on a $300 million five-year deal from 2020,  secure the rights for 2019 for $48.5 million.

As the ATP Cup’s host broadcaster, Nine’s tennis portfolio also includes the Fed Cup and the revamped Davis Cup tournaments in November, followed by the Brisbane International, Hobart International and the new Adelaide International, which also feature in January.

Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales for sports, said: “In 2019, we clearly demonstrated what we could do for marketers around the Australian Open with exciting new activations that delivered real results for brands likes Kia, Peters and Uber Eats.

“Next year’s tournament will be no different, with a range of bespoke solutions being developed for clients that seek to capitalise on the truly unique nature of tennis in January.”