LOS ANGELES, April 13, 2022 – Tennis Channel will be the exclusive home of the U.S. women’s tennis team as it hosts Ukraine in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifying round April 15-16 in Asheville, N.C. The winner of the five-match contest will earn a place in the 2022 Finals later this year, date and location to be announced. Live coverage begins both days at 1 p.m. ET.
The competition between the United States and Ukraine will consist of two singles matches Friday and two singles and one doubles match Saturday, with each worth one point. The winner of at least three points will become one of eight countries to qualify for the 2022 Finals. Tennis Channel plans to televise 10 live hours of U.S.-Ukraine Billie Jean King Cup play this weekend, with an another 10 same-day encore hours. Streaming service Tennis Channel Plus will offer all matches on demand upon their conclusion as well. Samsung TV Plus viewers will also have access to matches on the recently launched free ad-supported television (FAST) channel T2.
In addition to airing the United States and Ukraine, the network will offer periodic look-ins at other Billie Jean King Cup qualifying battles: Poland-Romania, Spain-Netherlands and Britain-Czech Republic. These matches will be live and on demand on Tennis Channel Plus. Tennis Channel may also bounce to the semifinals of the men’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, should they not be finished by the start of U.S.-Ukraine play.
The network will put two Hall of Famers with cup-championship experience into the broadcast booth this weekend for the U.S-Ukraine matchup. Announcer Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) was on the team in 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1992, and reached three finals, including 1989 when the Americans won the championship. Analyst Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) played for the U.S. team from 1978-1980, and contributed to two titles in 1979-1980. The team reached the finals all three years that she competed.
Matches on FAST channel T2 will be hosted by former player Jan-Michael Gambill (@JanmikeGambill).
Prior to 2021, the Billie Jean King Cup was known initially as the Federation Cup and then Fed Cup following its introduction in 1963. No country has won the cup as many times as the United States, which has 18 titles. Captain Kathy Rinaldi led the team to its most recent crown in 2017 and brings an experienced Billie Jean King Cup group into Asheville this weekend. Jessica Pegula, Allison Riske and Shelby Rogers have all represented the United States in the tournament previously. Asia Muhammed and Desirae Krawczyk round out this weekend’s squad.
Though both the United States and Ukraine will compete fiercely for the right to play in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, the weekend is also expected to be a show of sportsmanship, support and friendship in light of current events in Ukraine. The teams organized a special dinner this week and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will donate 10% of the ticket revenue to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, is the only television-based multiplatform destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. The network has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television in one of the world’s most voluminous sports, with multiple men’s and women’s tournaments and singles, doubles and mixed competition throughout the year. Tennis Channel has rights at the four majors – US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open) and Australian Open – and is the exclusive U.S. home of all men’s ATP World Tour and women’s WTA Tour competitions, Laver Cup and Billie Jean King Cup. Direct-to-consumer streaming service Tennis Channel Plus is available to everyone in the United States and allows subscribers to select from another 4,500 live and on-demand matches and award-winning content from short-form to films throughout the tennis season. Tennis Channel International brings live competition and network content to markets in Europe and Asia via digital subscription and free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels.Additional platforms Tennis Magazine and www.tennis.com are the largest print and digital outlets dedicated to the sport. Tennis Channel also manages a network of close to 20 podcasts.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) is a diversified media company and a leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 21 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets, owns multiple national networks including Tennis Channel and Stadium; 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 and streaming platforms NewsOn and STIRR. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, email@example.com, @TennisChannelPR