Prime Time Tennis
CBS, which has broadcast U.S. Open tennis since its inception 34 years ago, has never run a final in prime time, but will do it this year. Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8pm EST the Women's final will run.
The tournament, which runs for two weeks on USA and CBS, began Monday.
Scott McGraw, senior vice president of sports sales at CBS, says the Women's final has already sold out. "The demand for the women's final in prime time has been really significant. It's a real showcase that has been good for us in a challenging marketplace."
He says the sponsors who bought it were prohibited from buying only the finals. "As much as the demand for the finals is enormous we never sell it without support for the other weekend inventory," he says. "They have to make a commitment to the U.S. Open overall."
Thus, the network sold multi unit packages to a variety of major sponsors, including American Express, Mass Mutual, Lincoln, Hewlitt Packard and Tyco International, McGraw says.
The network will run nine minutes of advertising per hour, which McGraw says isn't a lot.
Demand is also high because women's tennis "is in great shape," he says. "There's lots of stories out there and we're thrilled about it."