Sky Sports launched its dedicated Tennis Channel on Sunday, which now is available in the UK and Ireland, and promises to take coverage of the sport to a new level.
We have been waiting for a tennis channel in Britain for so long and now we finally have one. I’m so excited to be part of the Sky team. I was in the office for the first time the other day, got my security pass and it felt like the start of something new and exciting for our sport. Laura Robson
Amazon Prime held the contract for 5 years, but walked away from the sport at the end of last year, allowing Sky Sports to pick up the rights to the US Open, as well as ATP and WTA tours.
Over 4,000 matches and 80 tournaments annually will be shown by Sky Sports, both through the linear channel, and its Now TV streaming platform.
Sky Sports Tennis is available to Sky Sports customers with Complete, Action and Arena packages from 11 February, and viewers will be able to access multiple live court streams at the same time via the Sky Sports mobile app, the Sky TV app or red button, and on Now TV Bonus Streams.
The dedicated Sky Sports Tennis and red button services are also available to Virgin Media customers, and will run 24 hours a day, while additional coverage will be offered on Sky Sports Main Event.
Up to this point, Sky’s coverage saw the broadcaster switch from one event to the next, with their coverage of Emma Raducanu and other stars at the Abu Dhabi event mixed with matches on the WTA Tour in Romania, and on the ATP Tour in Marseille last week.
Now they have a team on-site in Doha for the star-studded WTA 1000 event in Doha over the coming few days, and their coverage will ramp up as they broadcast multi-court coverage from the Indian Wells and Miami ATP and WTA 1000 events next month.
For a full listing of what is available, click HERE.
Sky Sports Tennis is screening a new high-quality documentary entitled Young Guns: The New Tennis Titans, which looks at the rise of stars from Carlos Alcaraz to Emma Raducanu, Coco Gauff and Jack Draper.
Tennis fans in the UK and Ireland can expect more of this kind of content, which would take coverage of the sport to the next level.
Host Gigi Salmon and lead commentator Johnathan Overend are joined by regular analysts and former British No 1’s Tim Henman and Laura Robson.
The quartet will be joined by other ex-players and special guests for the big events like the Indian Wells and the Miami Open offering expert analysis.
Sky have revolutionised the broadcasting landscape on the UK and Ireland with their sports coverage over the last three decades, and tennis fans can expect more of the same now that tennis is back on their platform.
Existing broadcasting agreements mean Sky Sports only have the US Open on their roster for now, but they will, no doubt, be keen to enhance their offering of the majors.
The challenge for broadcasters who have the ATP and WTA Tour deals and not coverage of the 4 Grand Slams is that the period in June and July is dominated by the French Open and Wimbledon, leaving several weeks when Sky Sports Tennis will lack live action, and they will need to find a solution to that issue.
“It’s so exciting that tennis is back on Sky,” Gigi Salmon, Sky Sports Tennis host, said. “Everyone around Sky is putting so much into the launch of this new channel and I’m sure tennis fans will enjoy it.
“Some are resistant to change and I understand that, but we have fantastic things coming this year. We are so determined to draw in new fans and keep the current fans happy as well.”
Laura Robson, Sky Sports Tennis analyst, added: “We have been waiting for a tennis channel in Britain for so long and now we finally have one. I’m so excited to be part of the Sky team.
“I was in the office for the first time the other day, got my security pass and it felt like the start of something new and exciting for our sport.
“Sky are the best in the business for broadcasting sports and I’m sure they will do a great job with tennis. I know I will have the tennis channel on all day from now on. It’s going to be great to have tennis whenever you want it.”
Sky Sports Managing Director Jonathan Licht said: “It’s an exciting moment for Sky Sports as we launch a new home for tennis fans, and Sky Sports Tennis will give millions of homes easy access to watch the best players in the world all year round.
“We’re proud to be the undisputed home of live sport for fans in the UK and Ireland, and this new channel will add value for our customers, enabling them to enjoy even more of the sports they love.”
To recap, Sky has bought the exclusive British and Irish rights to several of the biggest competitions in tennis, including:
- The US Open, one of the 4 Grand Slam events
- ATP Tour, tournaments on the men’s professional circuit
- WTA Tour, tournaments on the women’s professional circuit
- Masters 1000, the events at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Rome and Cincinnati
- The ATP Finals
- The WTA Finals
If you want to watch these tournaments live on TV, you can only do so now via Sky Sports Tennis, which is set to broadcast over 80 tournaments and over 4,000 matches over the year.
The first tournaments to be shown on Sky Sports Tennis include:
- 11-17 February: WTA Qatar TotalEnergies Open, Doha, Qatar
- 11-18 February: ATP ABN Amro Open, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- 19-24 February: ATP Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Doha, Qatar
Sky Sports Tennis now supports multi-match viewing, with multiple live court streams available via mobile app, Sky TV app, red button channels and NOW TV Bonus Streams, while selected matches, such as tournament finals, will be available to watch back on-demand.
Sky Sports Tennis comes under the Sky Sports umbrella of channels, and is available to qualifying Sky Sports, NOW TV, Virgin Media and EE TV customers.
In order to access the new tennis channel, Sky viewers will need to have Sky Sports Complete, Action or Arena as part of your TV package, but NOW TV viewers have the alternative option to watch Sky Sports Tennis content via a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership.
- NOW TV Sports Memberships start from £11.99 for one day, or £34.99 for one month.
If you are new to Sky TV, then this could be a good opportunity to set yourself up with a package. There are a few different ways to get Sky, including:
- Sky Glass: a package including Sky TV and other content services such as Netflix. The content directly streams via a Sky Glass TV, which is included in the package. You’ll need to select a package featuring Sky Sports Tennis.
- The best-value Sky Glass deal including Sky Tennis that’s currently available costs £34/mo for the first three months, before rising to £60/mo for the remainder of an 18-month contract, with the average monthly price working out at around £55.57. This deal gets you a 43″ Sky Glass TV, 8 Sky Sports Channels, Sky TV and Netflix, so you will have plenty to watch if you tire of the tennis.
- Sky Stream: the same content offerings as Sky Glass, but streamed via a set-top-style box. Again, be sure to select a package featuring Sky Sports Tennis.
- The best Sky Stream deal with Sky Sports Tennis that you can get right now is a £46/mo bundle on an 18-month contract, which provides Sky Stream, Sky Sports, Sky TV and Netflix.
If you already have Sky TV with Sky Sports, you’ll be able to find the Sky Sports Tennis at channel No 408 from launch day, Sunday 11 February, and the following day, but the channel moves to its permanent home, channel No 407, on 13 February.
Alternatively, you can find Sky Sports Tennis via Voice Control on Sky Glass, Sky Stream or Sky Q. Just say one of the following voice commands:
- “New balls please”
- “It was on the line”
- “Sky Tennis”
- “Sky Sports Tennis”
- “Tennis channel”
Sky will then serve up its tennis channel automatically.
For Virgin Media customers, tune to channel No 520.
Meanwhile, live coverage of the UK’s showpiece tournament, The Wimbledon Championships, continues on the BBC, while The French Open at Roland-Garros and the Australian Open will be broadcast by Eurosport.