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ATP Board approves "key aspects" of its Strategic Plan, including increase in 12-day Masters 1000 events
In his Chairman Update, Andrea Gaudenzi's letter outlined that these also involve an "agreement on a new Profit-Sharing formula" and "long-term prize money levels."
Published Sep 18, 2021
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Some big changes to the men's tour, including more 12-day Masters 1000 events and a new prize money-sharing arrangement, have taken another step forward, according to an internal announcement.
The ATP Board has approved some "key aspects" of its Strategic Plan for a redesign of the men's tour, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi told players in a letter.
These include "agreement on a new Profit-Sharing formula," "long-term prize money levels," and "expanding more Masters 1000 tournaments to 12-day events" along with some other changes to tournament arrangements and the tennis schedule.
The ATP letter also said these were subject to further agreement on other issues like rights aggregation and governance, plus a full-season schedule. These should be voted on sometime during the rest of the season, it said.
These changes appear to correspond with 'Phase I' of the Strategic Plan, which was distributed to players in a summary totaling 92 pages in 2020. It includes turning Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to 12-day Masters similar to Miami and Indian Wells, and adding 250 events during the second week of these Masters tournaments. Those 250 events could get a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.
Prize-money increases would be set at 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events. The complex arrangement includes an independent audit of tournament figures provided to the ATP Tour.
The plan also calls for changes to ATP Media, the broadcast arm of the ATP, which is currently owned jointly by the Tour and each of the Masters events. Under the plan, it appears eventually all tournament would pool their rights and get a share in ATP Media. The Tour will, in addition, create another independent entity called 'Tennis Data Innovations,' which will centralize data rights.
According to Gaudenzi, who was appointed as CEO in 2020, these changes will significantly increase the amount the ATP Tour currently gets for broadcast and data rights.
The second phase calls for more integration with the WTA Tour and Grand Slam events. As Gaudenzi has acknowledged, movement on these plans have been delayed due to the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.
An initial vote by the ATP Board was planned before the start of Wimbledon, but postponed amid request for more details by the Professional Tennis Players Association, or PTPA, a player group with which No.1 Novak Djokovic is involved. The PTPA has not yet publicly reacted to the ATP's approvals.
The ATP Board consists of the Chairman, three tournament representatives and three player representatives.