Canal Plus, the pay-TV heavyweight, has acquired exclusive rights to women's tennis' WTA Tour in the Czech Republic and Slovakia through 2028.
Under the five-year deal, beginning in January 2024, the broadcaster will cover several WTA tournaments each season, including the WTA 1000s, the WTA 500s, various WTA 250s, and the WTA Finals.
Coverage will be on Canal Plus’ linear channels and streaming platform, which launched in April.
Canal Plus will replace sports broadcaster O2 TV in the Czech Republic and public-service broadcaster RTVS in Slovakia as the WTA rightsholder.
The WTA Tour features several Czech and Slovakian players including grand slam winners Markéta Vondroušová, Petra Kvitová, and Barbora Krejčíková, former world number one Karolína Plíšková, 2023 Roland Garros finalist Karolína Muchová, and the 2023 Australian Open doubles champions Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková.
Ladislav Řeháček, vice president of Canal Plus Luxembourg for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said: “We were very interested in the rights to the WTA, for several reasons. One is the popularity of tennis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in general, another is the incredible success of Czech players in recent years.
“In addition, tournaments are played practically all year round and are watched by a high percentage of viewers, among whom there is a much higher proportion of women compared to most other sports. We believe that with this step we will further increase the attractiveness of sports offered by Canal Plus and significantly expand its scope beyond the circle of football enthusiasts that we already target with the English Premier League."
Marina Storti, WTA Ventures chief executive, said: “With outstanding players competing at the top of our sport year after year, including so many from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, we have no doubt Canal Plus viewers are in for exhilarating seasons of action from the WTA Tour.
“We’re excited to have this new agreement with Canal Plus for the next five seasons as it expands its footprint in tennis and commitment to the visibility of women’s sports.”