Tennis Channel Inside In - Michelle McMahon

There’s never a shortage of talent in the Tennis Channel broadcast booth. With tournaments on the docket each week and a plethora of matches every single day, opportunities exist for some of the best and brightest in the broadcasting world to capture the action with their voices.

In February a new face emerged on our airwaves, eager to get in on the fun. Michelle McMahon has accomplished quite a lot in her first decade as a professional commentator. She’s covered NCAA events, professional hockey, and has been on the ground floor with the rise of pickleball on television. But tennis was always near and dear to her heart, and in 2023 the chance for another dream was realized.

McMahon joined the Tennis Channel Inside-In Podcast to discuss her unconventional path to the mainstream of her industry, and why that journey prepared her mightily for the career of a lifetime:


It was in college when the spark was lit for McMahon’s broadcasting dream, but the road was anything but traditional from that point forward. She had no formal scholastic training, and there wasn’t a clear path towards stardom. A chance meeting with a Big Ten Network executive cracked the door open slightly for an opportunity, but that came and went. It was this precise moment that showcased one of McMahon’s greatest qualities, persistence, and set the stage for everything that followed.

“I called him back and was like, can I just come in for an audition? If I suck at this and I’m no good, I’d rather find out now,” McMahon recalls. A small opening was created, giving the girl with a broadcasting dream a sliver of hope that she could do this. McMahon hustled during her formative professional years, working other jobs to support herself as her career blossomed.

After years of reps and growth, she worked her way up to becoming a college football sideline reporter, a utility player who shined in every assignment the Big Ten Network threw her way—and somebody who would eventually get noticed by other networks. The journey may have been untraceable, but the results were hardly a fluke. “I don’t use my communications degree. I don’t use my Spanish degree. But what I do use is that research and preparation ability to regurgitate information, to learn quickly, to study.”

As McMahon worked her way up the broadcasting hierarchy, there was one particular sport she sought after. A tennis player in her youth, the chance to cover the games best has always been appealing.

McMahon started in February with Tennis Channel and was on site calling matches for the prestigious WTA Charleston Open. The opportunities to prove herself are nothing new, and she readily admits that the learning curve is steeper than in other sports. “You don’t talk. I remember the first time I came in here just to see if it would work or not, they were like, ‘Talk less.’ And I was, oh really? Ok.” McMahon explained.

Tennis broadcasters lean on their analysts mightily, and less is certainly more in a sport so rich in drama. “You want to lead your analysts in a way, and I’m still learning the art of that so to speak. Of like, where’s my place here? Where does my analyst want to go with this? And that’s a lot of preparation beforehand.”

McMahon understands the assignment and has a refreshing honesty in identifying where she needs to grow. She’s been eager to learn her whole career, and will put the work in necessary to improve and develop those skills quickly. After all, she is a competitor.


Michelle McMahon is no stranger to the spotlight, having built up quite a resume as a sports broadcaster. In this podcast she explains how she evaluates her own work, why it’s important to celebrate small victories, and how she becomes more knowledgeable about sports outside of her comfort zone. The tennis world has clearly gotten a hold of McMahon, who discussed her appreciation of for both current and former players (“I’m gonna start training with Tracy Austin… Tracy doesn’t know that yet.”).

This conversation provides an insightful look into the path of somebody making waves in a world that didn’t roll out the red carpet for them. Michelle McMahon is fine with that, because the chip on her shoulder gave her much more than any clear path ever could have.