Tennis Channel Adds A Double To Marketing Team

Looking to raise its profile after a potentially transformative programming move, the Tennis Channel has added two marketing executives to its team.

Neil Roberts has been named director of marketing and Lauren Leder as director of on-air creative. They will report to vice president of marketing Faye Walker.

The channel, which is in only 10 million homes, recently acquired the cable rights to the French Open, one of the sport's four Grand Slams.

"The addition of French Open coverage and expanded distribution, coupled with a growing base of advertisers and corporate partners, has added to the output demands on our marketing team," Walker says.

Roberts had been with the trade group PROMAX&BDA as vice president, marketing, while Leder was with iNDemand Networks as a writer/producer.

The network launched in 2003 and is counting on the French Open rights to help it increase distribution and ad dollars. ESPN previously held the cable rights, while NBC maintains the broadcast part.

But the French Open--which in recent years has not drawn much interest in the U.S., since most successful players have not been American--won't be enough to vault the channel out of its niche status.

Plus, it may struggle to garner ad support outside its tennis base until it has enough distribution to release Nielsen ratings.



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