Pay-television broadcaster Tennis Channel is moving outside of its US homeland for the first time with the launch of an international subscription streaming service.
Initially launching in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with plans for other worldwide markets, the OTT platform will offer content on the new Tennis Channel International app, with the service available in all three countries via www.tennischannel.com.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned broadcaster has engaged technology, data and streaming technology provider Sportradar for the launch of the OTT platform, which it claims will offer the most data-intensive experience among tennis media services.
The service will also be available in German-speaking countries on iOS and Android mobile devices, tablets, FireTV and select smart televisions for €2.49 ($2.70) per month. Existing US-based subscribers of Tennis Channel Plus will receive automatic access to select Tennis Channel International programming as part of their package.
Tennis Channel International will feature a new 24-hour streamed programming channel, Tennis Channel Deutschland, the first in Germany devoted exclusively to tennis. Programming includes original Tennis Channel series, documentaries, features, instruction, highlights and select matches on-demand.
Tennis Channel International will also cover live competition from Tennis Bundesliga, Germany’s top team tennis league. Archived content will feature programming from numerous providers, including founding partners the International Tennis Federation and German Tennis Federation (DTB), and will be available on-demand. Tennis Channel said it is also working on developing a dedicated channel for the ITF.
Users will be able to follow professional tennis matches through Sportradar’s MatchCast service.
As senior vice-president of Tennis Channel International, Andy Reif will handle the launch and subsequent expansion of the global product, with plans to introduce additional marketplaces within the next 12 months. Reif has served as senior vice-president of international at Tennis Channel since September and has consulted for the broadcaster since May 2018.
Reif said: “Tennis is a truly global sport and Tennis Channel is the ideal product to connect with tennis fans throughout the world. We’re especially excited to launch this groundbreaking service in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where tennis has a storied past, strong levels of participation and fan interest, and is positioned for growth.”
Jan Menneken, the London-based sports-media consultant and longtime tennis executive, will continue to work closely with Reif. Menneken previously headed up international media rights sales at the ITF and has advised Tennis Channel on international market growth since 2017.
An early highlight for the new service will take place in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state this weekend. Set for May 1-4, the Tennis Point Exhibition Series will be live and on-demand on Tennis Channel Internationalas the nation eases Covid-19 restrictions.
Headlined by German star Dustin Brown, the 32-match, four-day event will occur behind closed doors without fans in attendance, showcasing eight players from the men’s ATP Tour. It will be the first competition between ranked players since professional tennis was suspended in early March due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Tennis Channel will also show the competition to US audiences live on the network and on www.tennis.com.