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Nine adds ATP Cup to tennis line-up

Australian commercial broadcaster Nine has further bolstered its tennis portfolio by acquiring rights to the ATP Cup, the new team tournament launched by the men’s Association of Tennis Professionals which will be hosted in Australia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Nine said the ATP Cup will serve as a lead-in to its coverage of the Australian Open grand slam tournament.

The inaugural ATP Cup will run from January 3-12, with Tennis Australia in March confirming Perth as its final host city. The ATP first unveiled the new competition, which is set to compete with the revamped Davis Cup, back in November and Brisbane and Sydney were announced as host cities in January.

Nine announced the addition of the ATP Cup to its tennis line-up as it detailed expanded coverage plans for the 2020 Australian Open. Nine said it will use the 9Gem multi-channel service to enhance its coverage and ensure television viewers have greater choice over the games they watch. This expanded free-to-air coverage is in addition to OTT platform 9Now carrying every game of the tournament live.

Nine said it will offer commercial partners new ways of integrating into the Australian Open, building on its innovative cross-platform pillar strategy of 2019. From a digital, perspective AO Essential will be a dedicated 9Now program, including highlight packages and unmissable moments from the previous day’s play.

A weekend television show will launch in October which will cater to fans who want to know everything about the run-up to the Australian Open, while Behind the Racquet, a 60 Minutes feature special, will go behind the scenes at the Open and show viewers what exactly goes into creating a grand slam event.

“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,” Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales for sports, said.

“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.”

In June 2018, Nine reached an agreement to commence its coverage of the Australian Open a year early, with the deal coming a week after it said it had exited talks with the previous rights-holder of the slam, fellow commercial broadcaster Seven.

Nine’s deal with Seven and Tennis Australia meant its contract started in January and will run for six years, until the end of 2024.