Star India picks up rights to second Ultimate Tennis Showdown

Pay-television broadcaster Star India has acquired rights to the second edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, SportBusiness understands.

The follow-up edition of the innovative tennis event created by French tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou has secured important broadcast exposure in a major territory ahead of the opening matches this weekend.

Star has secured linear and OTT streaming rights to the men’s competition and the inaugural women’s event.

The broadcaster’s coverage will begin this weekend as ‘UTS2’ gets underway with Bulgaria’s Grigor Dmitrov and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco having joined the line-up. Star will also air the men’s Final Four on August 2, along with a new women’s event, which takes place on August 1 and 2.

Worldwide broadcast deals for the event are being negotiated by In&OutStories, the Paris-based media rights consultancy launched by former Eurosport executive Arnaud Simon. In&OutStories is also responsible for the broadcast production set-up and advising on the content distribution strategy.

Having launched during the hiatus in the professional tennis season as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, UTS has introduced various innovations. These include coaching time outs, coaches wearing microphones, and matches divided into 12-minute quarters.

Broadcast coverage in over 100 countries was secured for the semi-finals and final of the first event, UTS1. Earlier this month, pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports picked up rights to the semi-finals and final of UTS1, in the Middle East and North Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, East Timor, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

Eurosport acquired broadcast rights to UTS1 across Europe, plus territories in the Asia-Pacific region and India. Eurosport committed to showing two live matches each day, although its deal excluded digital rights to exploit on its Eurosport Player service given holdbacks for UTS’s own subscription OTT offering.

Deals were also agreed in the US (Tennis Channel), Canada (TSN) and Latin America (ClaroSports), while an agreement was signed in South Africa (SuperSport) shortly after the round-robin stage began.