Tennis Channel All-Star Fantasy Showdown Starts Monday
5 Jun, 2020
Tennis Channel viewers are about to find out: Who wins a 32-man singles draw with all-time greats Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal? What about a ladies' field that includes American Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati and defending Wimbledon-champion Simona Halep? Underway beginning June 8, the Tennis Channel All-Star Fantasy Showdown is a first-of-its kind simulated, virtual tournament with actual head-to-head classic matches determining the ultimate champion. The men's event takes place first with a match between career-Slam icon Andre Agassi and 1998 French Open-champion Carlos Moya Monday, June 8, at 1 p.m. ET. The women's tournament will start a week later with two Hall of Famers: Justine Henin facing Amelie Mauresmo Monday, June 15, at 1 p.m. ET.
The event will run Monday through Friday for two consecutive weeks, with weekend recaps of the best competition from each. Following a 12 p.m. ET edition of one-hour studio-show Tennis Channel Live, All-Star Fantasy Showdown matches will take place throughout the afternoon and evening. Leading into the coverage, host Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) will discuss the competitions with various analysts, including Hall of Famers Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) and Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), and former players Jimmy Arias (@ariastennis) and Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone). A star on the women's circuit from 1993 to 2010, Davenport is also featured in the women's All-Star Fantasy Showdown event.
The network used a panel of experts to put together the tournaments, seed the draws and research archives to select each head-to-head classic match that will determine which players advance throughout the week. Among them will be nine matches that have never been seen on U.S. television. The result is a unique, cross-generational format that blends retired Hall of Famers like Sampras, Davenport, Andy Roddick and Martina Hingis with current history makers Nadal, Roger Federer, and sisters Serena and Venus Williams. At the same time, young stars Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem represent today's emerging talent and the promise of the sport's future. Also, the project reflects Tennis Channel's almost two decades of existence and its ongoing mission to show as much tennis as possible to its audience.
"For the first time ever, Tennis Channel viewers are going to see head-to-head matches in a tournament that features star players who made a lasting impact over the past two-and-a-half decades," said John MacDonald, senior vice president, content programming. "Every day of the All-Star Fantasy Showdown will feel like a live competition, with commentary, analysis, actual matches and the sense of an event storyline unfolding in real time. Along the way, we expect the elements of fantasy and prediction to keep our audiences digitally engaged as well."
Digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus will offer on-demand matches from the All-Star Fantasy Showdown. Network website www.tennis.com will also conduct daily polls and fan voting during the tournaments, and the network will interact with viewers on social media platforms throughout the competition.
In addition to Sampras, Agassi, the Williams sisters, Federer, Nadal, Capriati, Davenport, Roddick, Hingis and others, the fields for each 32-player tournament include some of the sport's most beloved stars of the past quarter century. Among them are Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Patrick Rafter, Victoria Azarenka, Andy Murray, Caroline Wozniacki and Lleyton Hewitt. All-Star Fantasy Showdown draws and tournament brackets are available at www.tennis.com.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com), which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights at the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, ATP World Tour events, WTA competitions, Fed Cup, Laver Cup and the ATP Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by all of the top 10 video providers.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 23 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair's content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.