PE firm CVC Capital proposes to buy out ATP, WTA tennis tours

It'll invest $600 million for a 15% stake; rejuvenating the sport & managing broadcast rights.

MUMBAI: Changes may be afoot as far as broadcasting rights of professional male and female tennis calendars are concerned if reports emerging over the past two days are to be believed. Sky News first reported that Luxembourg headquartered private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is in unconfirmed talks with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to buy a 15 per cent stake into a new entity One Tennis which will combine their two itineraries. It is willing to serve a cool $600 million for the privilege of managing the broadcasting rights to the two tours, as well as selling data rights to gambling companies.

CVC Capital has discussed leaving the running of the two sports to the two associations; all it wants is that the women and men’s tournaments should have a unified calendar (meaning female and male tennis players should play at the same competitions) – just like they do in the Grand Slam championships – Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open, and the French Open. The latter four contests are ruled by a different governing body.

The private equity firm believes it can extract greater value than both ATP and WTA are doing currently by glamourising the tours, upping prize money, improving broadcast production quality, and setting up a global digital platform for tennis fans.

Reuters reported on 8 June that the two associations had issued a joint statement which said that they are "continually looking for ways to bring the sport closer together to provide an enhanced experience for fans, players and tournaments.”

CVC Capital is no stranger to managing sports; it had been the owner of the F1 from 2006 to 2017 when it sold it to John Malone’s Liberty Media. Over that period, it squeezed out billions of dollars in revenue from the racing sport; in the process, it helped turn around its fortunes. CVC Capital has recently invested in the six nations Rugby and the International Volleyball Federation.

CVC is proposing that ATP Media (ATP’s existing sales and broadcasting arm) will be absorbed into the new entity with the former’s CEO Mark Webster leading One Tennis. Most of the broadcast rights to the ATP Tours for India lie with the ATP’s, with rights to the ATP 250s being shared by it with Discovery. Prior to Discovery, Sony Pictures Sports Network was the rights holder from 2015 to 2020. Hardcore tennis fans can watch matches online at with the annual subscription package running at $119.9.

But apparently, a lot more could be done to popularise tennis and the tours among younger audiences, commentators and critics have averred. Tennis has alienated young tennis buffs as they have been drawn to other sports that have more excitement and entertainment. Statistics have shown that the tennis fan is beginning to age and to get back in the game, the sports need a rejuvenation.

The ATP and WTA boards are expected to meet later this month on the proposal. Their decision will make it clear whether they believe that CVC Capital can be that white knight – who will inject some life into the sport.

Latest Reads
Khatron Ke Khiladi returns for Season 12; Colors on boards 5 sponsors

India’s most awaited stunt-based reality show Maruti Suzuki presents Khatron Ke Khiladi Charged by Thums Up is set to return on Colors with a blazing new season. Host and renowned filmmaker Rohit Shetty will challenge 14 daredevil contestants with exhilarating stunts as they navigate through their...

Television TV Channels Viewership
ZEE Biskope announces the third season of ‘Talent Camera Action’

The popular Bhojpuri channel Zee Biskope announced the launch of its third season of the extremely popular award-winning campaign ‘Talent Camera Action (TCA)’.

Television TV Channels Regional
Barc Week 25: India TV leads HSM market for three weeks

Hindi news channel India TV has been consistently leading the Hindi-speaking market among the target audience 15+ for three consecutive weeks as per data by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (Barc).

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Locomotive Global Media on boards Anup Thanvi and Pearl Gill

Locomotive Global Media LLP on Thursday announced the appointment of Anup Thanvi as coordinating producer and Pearl Gill as head of production.

Television Production House Film Production
Trailer Park Group names Tamagna Ghosh as managing director APAC

Mumbai: Entertainment marketing and content production company Trailer Park Group has announced the appointment of Tamagna Ghosh as managing director for Asia Pacific and China (APAC) on Wednesday. It has rolled out the next stage in its APAC expansion strategy. It has also appointed Gina Grosso as...

Television Production House Post Production
Badshah and Punit Balan inks partnership deal for Mumbai team in Ultimate Kho Kho

Mumbai: A tinge of Bollywood has been added to Ultimate Kho Kho with popular singer Badshah joining the league as co-owner of the Mumbai franchise alongside renowned film producer, developer and sports enthusiast, Punit Balan. The Mumbai-based team completes the line-up for the inaugural edition of...

Television TV Channels Sports
Rishi Negi to take over as CEO of Endemol Shine India

Mumbai: Banijay Asia chief operating officer Rishi Negi will take over as CEO of Endemol Shine India, highly placed sources have confirmed to Negi takes over from Abhishek Rege whose departure from the production house was announced on Tuesday. His appointment is expected to...

Television Production House Post Production
There is sound commercial viability basis for the money spent on the IPL media rights: CA Atul Thakkar

Mumbai: India is on the cusp of a revolution in the sports business. A recently released report compiled by Anand Rathi Advisors (ARAL) confirms what sports pundits have been claiming for long – that India’s time as a sporting superpower has come. According to ARAL, the sports industry is estimated...

Television TV Channels Sports
Mipcom Cannes 2022 launches new co-production market alongside exhibition

RX France, formerly Reed Midem, on Tuesday confirmed a robust first raft of stand bookings for Mipcom Cannes 2022, whilst announcing plans to launch a new international c0-production market alongside the exhibition in the Palais des Festivals dedicated to accelerating international co-production...

Television Production House Film Production