John McEnroe, Todd Woodbridge, Jim Courier, Alicia Molik, Jelena Dokic, Sam Groth and Dylan Alcott have signed to Nine for its Australian Open coverage beginning in January 2019.
Rebecca Maddern, James Bracey and Tony Jones will host Nine’s coverage.
Nine’s six-year broadcast deal with Tennis Australia includes the Australian Open in Melbourne, the Hopman Cup in Perth and the Brisbane and Sydney Internationals. It also has the Davis Cup in September and the Fed Cup in February.
Tom Malone, Head of Sport for Nine, said: “For generations, Nine’s Wide World of Sports has set the benchmark that all others follow and we are confident that our new deal with Tennis Australia will continue that tradition.
“We have assembled a team of fresh faces while bringing back some familiar names who are the best at what they do. The Australian Open is the country’s pre-eminent summer sporting event and we’re confident our new-look team will help to instil a renewed passion for the game into lovers of tennis around Australia.”
Further announcements on Nine’s commentary team will be made in coming months.
Nine will also look to integrate its key pillars – news, sports, lifestyle, entertainment – within the broadcast to showcase all aspects of the festival of tennis:
· Today (news): Australia’s favourite morning breakfast show will take up residency at The Open, providing 14 days of Live coverage from Melbourne – showcasing all facets of the event, the best of Melbourne, the best of tennis, the best experiences both on and off the court.
· Wide World of Sports Studio (sport): WWOS will set up camp at the heart of the precinct, providing a pop-up experience that brings fans closer to the magic of sports broadcasting, closer to the experts and entertainers and the technology that makes tennis world class.
· 9Honey (lifestyle): We will harness Australia’s leading women’s network, 9Honey, and launch a dedicated destination called “Summer Serve”, celebrating the very best of summer through story-led content.
· 9Now (entertainment): Complementing the main channel’s event-style coverage, 9Now will be the gateway for fans to watch the tennis anywhere and at anytime.
· WWOS.com.au (sport): We will cater for the sports fanatic through platforms like Wide World of Sports.com.au – making tennis part of the conversation 365 days a year.
“When Nine secured the tennis rights we promised a true cross-platform strategy, and together Nine and we will do that by relentlessly pursuing a ‘Best Seat in the House’ strategy,” said Malone.
“Nine’s coverage of the Australian Open will showcase the best and the biggest matches through our various pillars and we can’t wait to bring that storytelling and Nine sizzle to the Australian Open – a celebration of food, music and kids.”
“We are delighted to be working with Nine in a strong and strategic alignment between our organisations,” said Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see our teams working closely together to design an exciting and dynamic tennis viewing experience for the Australian audience. Another key objective is to expand the off-court content offerings in food, family and entertainment, all vital elements that create the incredible atmosphere and capture the spirit of the Australian summer.”
In terms of the broadcast, Wide World of Sports will be pursuing a “Best Seat in the House” strategy aimed at bringing millions of Australians all the tennis action on and off the court.
The Australian Open in 2019 will be a Channel Nine event with featured coverage dedicated to showcasing the best and the biggest matches. Over the summer of tennis, Nine is also pursuing a multi-platform strategy, using Channel Nine, its multi-channels and 9Now to ensure Australians get the best tennis experience available, anytime, anywhere and on a device of their own choosing.
“Whether it’s the biggest names from Rod Laver Arena, highlights or post-match interviews, Nine’s coverage will be unwavering and all-encompassing – a premium blockbuster main channel event, on 9Now and wwos.com.au, alongside a multi-content experience dedicated to showcase all facets of the Australian Open right across the Nine ecosystem,” said Malone.