Cablevision Looks To Serve Up Tennis Channel For the U.S. Open

Operator Invokes Network's NCTC Contract For Sports Tier Positioning

Mike Reynolds -, 8/26/2009 2:32:29 PM EDT

Cablevision subscribers may get a chance to see Tennis Channel's coverage of the U.S. Open next week after all.
Availing itself of the network's agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, Cablevision has opted to add Tennis Channel to its iO Sports Pak, which includes 15 other networks and retails for $5.99 monthly.
Cablevision would like to position Tennis on channel 399 in standard-definition and 795 in the high-definition format, beginning Friday Aug. 28, three days before the 2009 U.S. Open begins, should Tennis provide its signal. Cablevision said Tennis is required to do so by its contract with NCTC, which negotiates programming deals for member cable operators.
Tennis couldn't be reached by press time. NCTC declined to comment about member contracts.
A Cablevision spokesman said the operator had informed NCTC of its intention to avail itself of the contract clause this morning, and similarly communicated its wont to Tennis.

The sports network ran print ads last week decrying its inability to come to terms with the New York area's predominant cable operator, and how area tennis fans would miss its extensive coverage of the Grand Slam event, which includes some 72 hours of live match coverage.
The parties have been discussing positioning for many years, with the sports tier being at the crux of those talks. However, Cablevision more recently has offered Tennis both placement on the iO Sports Pak, as well as its iO Gold package, which counts some 300,000 customers. Tennis believes it deserves wider penetration.
"We think this is a great solution that will allow New York tennis fans to see the Tennis Channel's coverage of the U.S. Open," said John Trierweiler, Cablevision's senior vice president of product management, in a statement. "We have opened up channels 399 and 795 for the standard-definition and HD feeds of the Tennis Channel and are looking forward to making the network available to our Sports Pak customers by Friday, in time for the start of the U.S. Open. We hope the leadership of the Tennis Channel will work with us to expedite this process and ensure that New York tennis fans are able to enjoy its coverage of this major event."