Event to Feature Tennis Legends Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, the Jensen and Bryan Brothers; Cee Lo Green Concert to Follow
DIRECTV, exclusive provider of the interactive US Open Experience, will invite tennis fans to Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue Armory for DIRECTV’s Old School Challenge presented by ESPN on Aug. 25. The private event precedes the 2011 US Open and highlights old school tennis legends Ivan Lendl and the Jensen brothers as they battle it out against new school stars Pete Sampras and current No. 1 doubles team, the Bryan brothers. Tennis great John McEnroe will keep the crowds entertained by providing color commentary for the matches. Tennis Channel’s Brett Haber and Mayleen Ramsey will serve as play-by-play commentator and sideline reporter, respectively. The event concludes with a performance from singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green. DIRECTV’s Old School Challenge presented by ESPN will be broadcast on DIRECTV’s Audience Network, the Tennis Channel and DIRECTV’s Regional Sports Networks.
DIRECTV will transform the Lexington Avenue Armory, in the heart of Manhattan, into a regulation US Open tennis court complete with stadium-seating, where two “old school” vs. “new school” battles will ensue. First, the Jensen brothers, using today’s modern tennis rackets, will face off against the Bryan brothers who will fight back using old school wooden rackets. Next, Lendl and Sampras will return to the court to duke it out in a singles match, again switching up equipment; Lendl will be using a modern racket while Sampras will play with a wooden racket.
“If you’re a tennis fan, you know that DIRECTV is the only place to find the most comprehensive TV coverage of all four Grand Slam Tennis events, allowing you to watch every single match of the tournament,” said Jon Gieselman, senior vice president of Marketing for DIRECTV. “And to celebrate our sixth year of delivering interactive TV coverage of the US Open, DIRECTV and ESPN are bringing together an amazing lineup of tennis greats and stars giving fans a chance to watch the best of the past and the present battle it out on the court in a truly unique format.”
DIRECTV’s US Open Experience, produced by ESPN, is a free, interactive service that offers expanded coverage of outer court and early round matches from Flushing Meadows. Customers enjoy more than 435 hours of live tennis action, up to 140 extra matches that cannot be seen anywhere else, with five extra court channels in addition to the main ESPN2 feed – all displayed on DIRECTV’s innovative six-on-one-screen Mix Channel, and presented in HD. The Mix Channel and bonus coverage will run from Aug. 29 through Sept. 5 on channels 701-708. More DIRECTV US Open programming information is available by visiting www.DIRECTV.com/usopen.
ESPN’s multi-platform and worldwide coverage of the US Open will include 100 hours in high definition on ESPN2 HD, 420 hours on ESPN3.com’s multi-court offering plus coverage across ESPN’s platforms in the U.S. and around the world. During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1 p.m. each weekday and will continue nonstop for at least 10 hours through both the day and evening sessions. The latter, Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. or when play is concluded, whichever is later. The second week, ESPN2 will have Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m. on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 5, followed by day-long windows Tuesday – Thursday starting at 11 a.m.
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