Nine adds last tennis grand slam to set with three-year US Open deal
Tennis - 15 Sep 2021
Nine Network, the Australian commercial broadcaster, has secured exclusive broadcast rights to the next three editions of tennis’ US Open grand slam tournament, meaning it now holds rights to all of the sport's four annual grand slams.
Beginning next year, with the 2022 US Open, Nine will cover the New York tournament, which had its 2021 edition finish over the weekend, until after the 2024 event.
Coverage will be provided by Nine’s various linear channels, as well as by Stan Sport, the network’s sports-focused live-streaming service, through Nine’s deal with the United States Tennis Association.
Nine replaces a combination of sports broadcaster ESPN and public-service network SBS as the US Open’s Australian broadcaster. Those two networks have covered the tournament since 2017 when they picked up rights in a joint deal.
The deal means that all four tennis grand slams will be covered by Nine next year, with the network already holding rights to the UK’s Wimbledon Championships until after the 2023 tournament, and to the French Open clay-court event in Paris until the same year.
Nine is also the domestic rights-holder for the Australian Open in Melbourne, with its current deal for that tournament, struck in 2018 (but only starting this year), running until 2024. It replaced fellow commercial broadcaster Seven in that role.
Brent Williams, director of sport at Nine, said: “We are thrilled to have one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events in the US Open coming to Nine and Stan Sport. Today’s exciting announcement makes us the exclusive home of all four tennis grand slams.
“We are excited that fans will be able to access every player, every thrilling match, and every single point of these iconic tournaments on a Nine platform.”
Lew Sherr, chief revenue officer at the USTA, added: “We have always admired Nine Network’s coverage of the Australian Open, so we know that the US Open has found a great home on Nine and Stan Sport.”
In addition to the grand slams, Nine currently holds rights to the national team’s Davis Cup, as well as to the Laver Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup.
The Laver Cup deal, extended earlier this week, will entail every match from the 2021 edition (taking place in Boston, USA, later this month) being shown both live and on-demand via Stan’s streaming platforms.
The last edition, two years ago, was shown on Nine’s linear channels, with international sports media giant ESPN also holding live rights for the 2019 tournament.