Television

ESPN Star Sports bags TV rights for 'French Open'

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MUMBAI: ESPN STAR Sports, Asia?s sports broadcaster, has acquired the exclusive telecast rights to the French Open Grand Slam tournament for a period of five years in South Asia, starting with the next championship in May-June 2007.

Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) will add to the existing line-up of tennis programming on ESPN and STAR Sports, which already includes the Australian Open, the Wimbledon, ATP Masters Series, the Tennis Masters Cup and other national and Asian level tournaments, asserts an official release.

Speaking on the acquisition, ESPN India Pvt Ltd managing director R C Venkateish said, ?We are in the business of bringing top sporting action to our fans and the French Open fits in beautifully with our tennis calendar, making our offering even more satisfying for Indian tennis fans, who will continue to enjoy the international quality production and packaging synonymous with tennis broadcast on ESPN and STAR Sports.?

French Federation of Tennis (FFT) commercial director Michel Grach said, "We are extremely pleased to be associated with ESPN STAR Sports for the telecast of the French Open for the next five years. Being a premier tournament, we are indeed delighted that the leader in international sport will be showing the tournament live in the Indian sub-continent, providing tennis fans a chance to see some of the game?s best in action."

ESPN STAR Sports has a major share of Indian tennis, being the official broadcaster of the recently-concluded Mumbai Open and having broadcasted earlier this year the Bangalore and Chennai Opens, adds the release.

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