LONDON, England - MCS TV Group confirmed Wednesday a four-year deal with IEC in Sports and sports media group Perform to exclusively broadcast over 400 WTA matches annually across its network of channels.
The agreement begins with the Brisbane International on January 2, 2013 and will include access to 22 WTA Premier tournaments each year, concluding with the WTA Championships.
MCS TV Group's channels include Ma Chaine Sport, MCS Extrême, MCS Bien-être and MCS International and are distributed across Numéricable, Canalsat and ADSL, reaching over 14 million viewers in multiple territories, including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel, Portugal and selected territories in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the acquisition, MCS TV Group will launch a new channel specifically to showcase its tennis content. The MCS tennis channel will feature all of the WTA Premier events alongside ATP World Tour events for which the MCS TV Group own the rights.
"We are proud to announce this long-term contract with the WTA that really reinforces and grows our tennis offering with the best of women's tennis," said Nicolas Rotkoff, President of MCS TV.
Perform and IEC in Sports, which partnered to acquire and market the WTA's Premier events in December 2011, plan to double the amount of current live matches produced, by increasing both the number of courts and days covered. In addition, Perform will provide extensive coverage of the WTA on all its digital platforms, including TennisTV.com, the WTA's and ATP World Tour's official live streaming subscription website; ePlayer, the sports VOD broadcast platform that reaches over 130 million sports fans each month; a bi-monthly TV and digital magazine show featuring on and off-court WTA highlights; a global TV and digital news service of match highlights and player interviews in seven different languages; and Watch&Bet.
"This is a very significant deal and marks an exciting evolution in the distribution and exposure of women's tennis," said WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster. "Our ambition alongside that of Perform and IEC in Sports is to ensure we reach as many fans of women's tennis around the world, and this deal is the first of many that will see us fulfill this goal."
"The WTA is a fantastic sports right property which recognizes that fans are now consuming sport differently," said Perform joint-CEO Simon Denyer. "Our expertise in digital rights combined with IEC in Sports' expertise in broadcast distribution is really starting to pay off, as you will see with a number of additional announcements over the coming months."
"MCS has already established itself as a major player in the sports broadcast industry - this partnership is another reflection of that and we look forward to continuing our existing strong relationships with MCS further with this landmark deal," said Chairman of the International Board at IEC in Sports Nick Haigh.