CBS nets more tennis rights

Network locks up U.S. Open through 2011

CBS has locked up U.S. Open coverage through 2011.

The Eye inked a deal Tuesday with the U.S. Tennis Assn. to bring more than 50 hours of program coverage annually, as well as coverage of select U.S. Open Series matches.

Under the revenue-sharing agreement, which begins 2009, the USTA is guaranteed to make between $140 million and $150 million over six years and broadcast rights fees have been cut 20%, according to reports.

Eye execs said net was losing money under the old deal.

Deal builds on CBS’ 40-year history as broadcaster of America’s Grand Slam, one of the longest relationships in broadcast sports.

“The U.S. Open is one of our premiere properties, on the same level as the Final Four and the Masters,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports. “Our goal was to ensure that the U.S. Open remained at CBS, and by crafting a deal that works for the both parties, we accomplished our goal.”

The agreement realigns the relationship between CBS, USTA and U.S. Open sponsors and provides incentives to secure combined sponsorship, media and hospitality packages. Open sponsors American Express, Lexus, Mass Mutual and Valspar have already made commitments.

The 2007 U.S. Open runs Aug. 27 to Sept. 9.

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