WOWOW, the pay-television operator in Japan, will continue to air tennis’ US Open grand slam after renewing its long-standing rights deal with organizer the United States Tennis Association (USTA) ahead of the tournament’s start next week.
Under the multi-year renewal, the broadcaster will retain live television and digital rights to the US Open in Japan and will celebrate its 30th year of live coverage during this year’s edition.
The broadcaster says it will show live coverage of all matches on all courts through its on-demand service and WOWOW Tennis World platform. The men’s and women’s finals will both be broadcast in ultra-high definition.
The deal was secured by international sports and entertainment agency IMG, as part of its media rights agreement with the USTA. That deal, running from 2017 to 2025, sees IMG sell US Open rights on behalf of the governing body in all international territories outside of North America and Latin America.
WOWOW last renewed its rights to the tournament in 2017 in a five-year deal with the USTA lasting until 2021.
Last year, it also extended and expanded its long-standing relationship with Tennis Australia, organizer of fellow grand slam the Australian Open, in a multi-year deal that will begin with next week's tournament.
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Akira Tanaka, WOWOW representative director, president, and chief executive, said: “I am pleased that WOWOW is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the broadcast of US Open Tennis Championships, one of the four Grand Slams.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the USTA for the long partnership we have enjoyed with them over the years.
Kirsten Corio, the USTA’s chief commercial officer, said: “The commitment and longevity of a partner like WOWOW has undoubtedly played a part in the global growth and success of the US Open over the last three decades.
“We are grateful to WOWOW for their steadfast partnership for the last 30 years and look forward to the future fan engagement that WOWOW will bring to the US Open audience across Japan.”
the USTA’s deal with WOWOW adds to a slew of agreements the organizer has struck ahead of this year’s tournament.
This week, the governing body has announced the addition of French sunscreen brand La Roche-Posay to its portfolio of US Open sponsors and a five-year renewal of its now 30-year partnership with global technology company IBM.
In the run-up to this year’s edition, the USTA also secured a multi-year partnership with luxury car brand Cadillac and a tourism sponsorship deal with Explore Asheville.
This year’s tournament has already seen record ticket sales following sporting icon Serena Williams’ announcement that she will retire after the event.
In addition, the USTA last week (August 19) announced a record prize purse for the tournament, which will see funds top $60 million for the first time, covering both the men’s and women’s editions.
The 2022 US Open begins next week (August 29) and will run through September 11. Qualifying for the tournament started yesterday (August 23).
The tournament is set to return to its previous long-term home in the UK from next year after pay television Sky secured UK broadcast rights after streaming platform Amazon Prime Video failed to agree an extended contract with the USTA.
Sky had shown the grand slam since 1991 but decided against renewing its previous contract that expired at the end of 2015.
Amazon has held UK rights to the tournament since 2018 under a five-year deal worth £30 million ($39.5 million) and will broadcast this year’s edition as its last.
Elsewhere, Australian commercial broadcaster Nine will start its three-year coverage of the US Open next week after securing the rights through a deal brokered by IMG last year. It replaces a combination of sports broadcaster ESPN and public-service network SBS which had a joint deal in place since 2017.