Tennis Channel has secured the exclusive US broadcast rights to the new Laver Cup tennis competition.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned network has signed a multi-year agreement with TRIDENT8 and Tennis Australia, two of the organisations partnering to stage the inaugural Ryder Cup-style event, which will take place from 22nd to 24th September in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Laver Cup, named after Australian tennis great Rod Laver, will pit six of the top men’s tennis stars from Europe, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, against a six-strong World team featuring the likes of Milos Raonic and John Isner. The teams will be captained by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe respectively.
“It’s a tremendous honour for Tennis Channel to be present at the launch of this significant addition to the annual tennis calendar, especially an event named after one of the most iconic, favourite Hall of Fame idols of all time,” said Tennis Channel president Ken Solomon.
“We fully expect the Laver Cup to grow into a hallowed sports-world tradition in the decades to come, and we’re eager to facilitate by launching the event front and centre to close to 60 million paid subscriber households around the country, as well as aggressively integrating support for the event on both Tenischannel.com and on our newest platforms Tennis.com and Tennis magazine.”
According to organisers, the inaugural edition of the Laver Cup, to be held at Prague’s O2 Arena, has already sold out, and is the fastest-selling event in the venue’s history.
The event format will see three singles and one doubles match played each day over the course of three days, with points awarded for each match. Staged on a hard court in a retractable roof stadium or indoor arena, it will take place every year, two weeks following the US Open, except in Summer Olympic years.
Next year’s edition will be held at a yet-to-be-announced venue in the US, before returning to Europe in 2019.
Other players signed up to feature this year include Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Tomas Berdych, Jack Sock and Sam Querrey. More players are currently in discussions to compete.
As well as TRIDENT8, an affiliate of Federer's Team8 Global management company, and Tennis Australia, the event is being jointly backed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann.