UKTV has secured exclusive rights to show the 2017 Tie Break Tens tennis series on its free-to-air entertainment channel Dave.
Founded in 2015 as a fast-paced, quick-fire alternative to traditional tennis, Tie Break Tens sees world class players compete in a unique format of the sport where each match is a first-to-ten point tie break.
Dave’s live coverage of the series, which will be presented by Ore Oduba, starts in Madrid on Thursday, May 4, where both men’s and women’s tournament will take place together in a knockout format for the first time.
The Mutua Charity Tie Break Tens is set to feature British number one and current world number seven Jo Konta in the women’s event, where she will be up against the French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and former world number one Maria Sharapova, as well as other top WTA stars including Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Monica Puig and Madison Keys.
In the men’s tournament, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov, Lucas Pouille and Spanish trio David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez will battle it out for the title.
The 16 players will compete in 14 tie-break matches, with two tournaments running in parallel over the course of the evening.
Tie Break Tens is the latest live sport to feature on UKTV, following on from its recent coverage of David Haye’s return to boxing, BDO darts and Caribbean Premier League cricket.
UKTV takes over the rights to broadcast Tie Break Tens from Sky Sports, which covered the first two events of the series in 2015 and 2016. Steve North, general manager for Dave, said:
“The Tie Break Tens format is an excellent way to get shorter and faster matches giving a thrilling evening of tennis entertainment. It’s looking to do for tennis what Twenty20 did for cricket with significant levels of prize money attracting the very best players.”
Dave’s coverage of Tie Break Tens will be produced by Sunset+Vine. Executive director Andrew Preece commented:
“Sunset+Vine is excited to produce Tie Break Tens – a uniquely intense pro tennis tournament decided in a single ‘prime-time’ night. The format offers fans the opportunity to see a full tournament in one session, and a host of stars battling it out on court.
“There’s no room for error with shorter 10 pt Tie-Break matches requiring the players to be at their best with every shot. Tie Break Tens delivers an attitude to the game never before seen in the sport and that’s why we’re excited to be partnering Dave to bring this event to the UK with a bold and innovative coverage.
“In Madrid, 16 of the sport’s top stars will be courtside throughout watching and analysing their contemporaries, giving viewers an insight into the game never before seen in the sport. Fans of tennis will see their heroes in a thrilling new perspective …those new to the sport will be gripped and entertained.”
Last year in Vienna, Andy Murray reached the Tie Break Tens final, losing out to home-favourite Dominic Thiem, who took away a winner-take-all prize of $250,000.
It was the second time that Murray had been denied at the final hurdle in Tie Break Tens. At the inaugural event in London, Murray lost out to young British player Kyle Edmund, who walked away with more money in one night than he had earned in the previous 12 months.
In the following year, Edmund was one of the highest climbing players on the ATP World Tour, from outside the top 100 to 48.
On securing free-to-air coverage of the series in the UK, Victoria Sinclair, of Tie Break Tens, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Dave on-board as exclusive broadcaster of live Tie Break Tens in the UK. Tie Break Tens is a fast-paced, innovative short-format of tennis designed to give spectators and television viewers a fantastic night of intense competition and entertainment.
Dave, an innovative, free-to-air channel is a perfect fit for us as we seek to reach as many sports fans as possible, as well as introducing tennis to a new audience. Our research has shown that Tie Break Tens is particularly appealing to a younger viewer, who appreciate the pace and pressure this format offers, and so we are confident our partnership will deliver just that.”
Complementing Dave’s live TV output will be extensive coverage across social media, via @davechannel on Twitter, as well as Facebook and Snapchat feeds, which will provide second screen coverage with point-by-point commentary on the games, plus behind-the-scenes interviews.
For further information about the Tie Break Tens series, including forthcoming schedules and event details, visit the official website – tiebreaktens.com.