• ESPN promising to super serve record global digital audience from Melbourne Park
ESPN Australia has announced it has secured rights for the January tournaments The World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide, The WTA Hobart International and Australian Open Juniors Finals for three years.
The broadcaster and publisher has also revealed Stephanie Brantz is joining the all-star ESPN tennis team alongside former Aussie champ Darren Cahill. Other former tennis superstars on the ESPN team include Chris Evert, Pam Shriver and Patrick and John McEnroe.
ESPN recorded its biggest month ever on its digital network in November 2016, with more than 128 million users worldwide. ESPN’s record global standing across digital in November saw ESPN Digital Network ranked #1 in the Nielsen digital sports category in Australia.
Brantz will front a video team that will focus on capturing colour from the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, as well as producing a variety of “game around the game” news and feature stories which will be part of ESPN’s coverage in global territories where it does not hold TV rights, including Australia. The video content will feature across ESPN networks and various international editions of ESPN’s flagship website ESPN.com in the US, UK, India and parts of Latin America.
Senior vice president of international programming, sales and marketing, Tim Bunnell, said: “We have established the benchmark for covering marquee events like the Olympics and World Cups for both rights holding and non-rights holding markets, tailoring our approach accordingly. We’re very excited to now bring that same industry-leading approach to a marquis recurring annual event like the Australian Open.”
ESPN general manager of Australia/New Zealand Haydn Arndt said: “We welcome this great opportunity to leverage the power of ESPN in our own backyard to serve sports fans anytime and anywhere across the globe. From a local perspective this is a natural extension to the new rights we’ve acquired for the WTC and WTA events, and it complements our long term commitment to the ATP Tour. Steph Brantz contributed significantly in the inaugural year of our Australian edition of ESPN.com, and it’s great that we’re now working with her to serve our global digital audience.”