Greek public-service broadcaster ERT has announced that it has acquired rights to the French Open for the next three years, adding yet more content to its new ERT Sports channel.
The new deal, from 2019 to 2021, is for non-exclusive rights to the tournament. International sports broadcaster Eurosport also shows the French Open in Greece as part of a wider deal for rights across Europe, excluding France, until 2021.
ERT sports rights deals have been negotiated directly by the deputy minister of culture and sports, George Vassiliadis, acting on behalf of the Greek government and ERT. The current government are keen to improve ERT’s sports offering and has recently acquired rights for a host of domestic competitions and the Formula One motor racing championship.
More significantly, last year Vassiliadis managed to negotiate media-rights deals for seven clubs from the Super League, Greece’s top-tier football league.
Tennis has had an upsurge in popularity in Greece due to the rise of young Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas, who most recently became the highest-ranked Greek player in history and last year won his first ATP Tour tournament – the first Greek player ever to do so. In his most recent grand slam, the Australian Open, Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals, beating tennis legend Roger Federer on the way.