ESPN can truly say it’s the Grand Slam network now. According to Jon Lafayette of TV Week, ESPN and the Tennis Channel will share the cable rights to the U.S. Open starting next year. A formal announcement will be made early next week. USA Network which had been the cable rightsholder will end its long association with the U.S. Open after this year.
ESPN and Tennis Channel share rights to other Grand Slam tournaments such as the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon. Earlier this year, ESPN signed a multi-year agreement to be the main U.S. cable rightsholder for Wimbledon. Last year, Tennis Channel signed with Wimbledon to show 100 hours of coverage.
So next year, both networks will complete a calendar year Grand Slam. It will mark the first time that all four Grand Slam tournaments will be seen on the same network.
NBC maintains the over the air rights to the French Open and Wimbledon and CBS remains the over the air rightsholder for the U.S. Open.