Pilot Pen Tennis Nets Top TV Time, Huge Exposure

August 16, 2004 11:13 AM

Tourney To Match Most Coverage of Any Women’s-Only Tennis Event;

Prime-time Quarterfinals, Semifinals, CBS Sports Final Highlight Coverage

NEW HAVEN, Conn., August 16, 2004 – The popularity of women’s tennis and one of its premier events, Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA, a US Open Series event, will be on prime display as ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports will broadcast an unprecedented total of 15½ hours of live and tape-delayed coverage, from early rounds through to the tournament final on Saturday, August 28 (1 p.m., CBS Sports). The total is the most in the tournament’s history and second most of any women’s-only tennis tournament in the USA. Of the 15½ hours, 11½ will be broadcasted live.

The Pilot Pen, held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, will feature a live prime-time broadcast of the semifinal match on Friday, August 27 (7:30 – 9 p.m. ET) on ESPN2, as well as action on ESPN2 on Wednesday, August 25 (5-7 p.m., same-day tape), Thursday, August 26 (1-3 a.m. and 10 p.m. – midnight, tape; 1-5 p.m. live). Additionally, ESPN will provide live coverage on Friday, August 27 (1-3 p.m.). The tournament had 13½ hours of coverage last year after 12½ in each of the previous two years.

With the reach of the two networks, by the end of the event, the Pilot Pen will have been seen by more viewers in the U.S. than any other women’s-only WTA event during the regular season. The WTA Tour Championships in November is scheduled to have approximately 22 hours of scheduled domestic television coverage.

“Every year our number of hours and, importantly, quality of the time slots, improve dramatically,” said Mike Davies, Pilot Pen Tennis president. “The Pilot Pen and New Haven will be seen by more viewers than ever before, which benefits sports fans across the country, who can see more tennis action, as well as the city and our sponsors, who will receive even more valuable exposure.”

The 2004 Pilot Pen Tennis field includes No. 4 Lindsay Davenport and No. 7 Jennifer Capriati of the USA; No. 6 Elena Dementieva, No. 8 Maria Sharapova, No. 14 Nadia Petrova and No. 25 Elena Bovina of Russia; No. 13 Ai Sugiyama of Japan; No. 15 Paula Suarez of Argentina; No. 18 Karolina Sprem of Croatia; and No. 19 Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi of Israel. The tournament retains three main draw wild cards and six qualifying wild cards, which will be awarded by August 19.

About Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA

“New England’s Premier Women’s Sports Entertainment Event of the Year.” The 2004 Pilot Pen presented by Michelob ULTRA (www.pilotpentennis.com), a US Open Series event, will be held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Four of the world’s top 10 and seven of the top-15-ranked players, including Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, have committed to the tournament. A total of 15 ½ hours of Pilot Pen Tennis action will be televised nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports. For information on tickets, travel packages, sponsorships or on how to become a volunteer at the 2004 Pilot Pen, call the Pilot Pen Tennis office at 203/776-7331 or 888/99-PILOT