2012 Australian Open TV schedule on ESPN2 and Tennis Channel

The first Grand Slam of the tennis calendar takes place at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, as the world’s best tennis players head Down Under. On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic won last year’s Australian Open, then went on to win two more Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open. Top-seeded Djokovic will be challenged by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and David Ferrer. On the women’s side, defending champ Kim Clijsters struggled with multiple injuries throughout the year, but hopes to be healthy enough to return despite suffering a hip injury at the Brisbane International. Clijsters is seeded 12. Other contenders include No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. Serena Williams is seeded 13th and will play despite an ankle injury. Venus Williams withdrew due to a medical condition that has kept her out of competitive tennis since the US Open.  ESPN2 and Tennis Channel air the tournament Jan. 15-29. Australian Open TV schedules and releases from ESPN and Tennis Channel.


Tennis’ First Major of 2012 – The Australian Open – Starts Sunday

The Start of another Grand Slam Year on ESPN with 100+ Hours on ESPN2 HD, 600 on ESPN3, Coverage across Digital Platforms & Around the World

Tennis’ first Major of 2012 – the Australian Open presented by Franklin Templeton Investments, where the year’s storylines on both the men’s and women’s side will begin to unfold – gets underway down under when ESPN2 HD, ESPN3 and ESPN’s digital platforms present some of the longest scheduled live telecast windows of the year in sports, starting Sunday, Jan. 15.  Under the terms of a new 10-year agreement taking effect, ESPN2 again will televise more than 100 live hours, plus afternoon highlights and replays from overnight action.  The telecasts are also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.  Expanded digital coverage includes 600 hours on ESPN3, all live, with users choosing between action on seven courts with all matches available on-demand after completion.

Play begins in Melbourne with a 12.5-hour telecast on ESPN2 and ESPN3 starting Sunday, Jan. 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET.  Late-night marathons will continue through the women’s and men’s finals live at 3 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, and Sunday, Jan. 29, (very late on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively).  In addition, ESPN’s SportsCenter will provide live look-ins to the action during the 11 p.m. and late-night editions.

New Agreement Takes Effect
The 2012 Australian Open marks the beginning of a 10-year agreement between ESPN and Tennis Australia that extends ESPN’s multimedia through 2021 and international coverage through 2016.  Having televised the Australian Open – including the women’s and men’s semifinals and finals exclusively – since 1984, this is ESPN’s longest uninterrupted professional sports programming relationship.  The new agreement, announced in 2010, includes all ESPN platforms.  It continues the extensive ESPN2 schedule, Spanish-language U.S. rights and distribution in Latin America via ESPN International (2012-16).  It also includes expanded rights for ESPN3, iTV (interactive television), and highlights on ESPN.com and other emerging and digital media, including ESPN Mobile TV, solidifying ESPN’s position as the leader in live tennis coverage.

Intrigue in Both Draws
Two-time champion Novak Djokovic – coming off one of the finest seasons in tennis history – will defend the men’s title as the top seed against a stellar field topped by No. 2 seed and 2009 winner Rafael Nadal and No. 3 and three-time champion Roger Federer.  Andy Murray seeks his first major title at No. 4 as does David Ferrer at No. 5.

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki leads the women’s field, and No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova will try to continue her 2011 success, winning Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championship.  Victoria Azarenka is No. 3, the 2008 champion, Maria Sharapova, is No. 4, the 2011 French Open winner Li Na is No. 5, and local favorite Sam Stosur is No. 6, hoping to win her second straight major title, having taken the 2011 US Open.  Last year’s women’s champion, Kim Clijsters, is playing for the first time in more than six months and is seeded No. 12.  Right behind her at No. 13 is Serena Williams, a five-time Aussie winner, who is also returning to action after an extended injury layoff, having last competed in the US Open final.

Cliff Drysdale – who has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast in 1979 – leads the ESPN2 team.  Chris Evert, who joined ESPN last year for Wimbledon and the US Open, will make her Australian Open debut.  Darren Cahill, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver return as analysts.  Chris Fowler will again host and call select matches, with Chris McKendry also hosting.  Tom Rinaldi will contribute features, news and interviews during event coverage and on SportsCenter.

ESPN2’s Australian Open programming will generally consist of live action in the evening continuing uninterrupted for 10 or more hours until the next morning, plus at least three hours of same-day action the next weekday afternoon at 12 p.m.  The tournament is part of ESPN’s ongoing Grand Slam alliance with Tennis Channel, which offers audiences a near round-the-clock tournament experience at tennis’ major events.  ESPN is producing all Australian Open coverage for both networks, which will cross-promote each other with each channel utilizing its own commentators.

ESPN Interactive TV, seen on DIRECTV and ESPN3, will present the Australian Open with a six-screen “mix channel.”  For eight hours per night during the first eight days of the tournament, viewers will be able to watch the ESPN2 feed or one of five other courts, all with commentary and customized graphics.   Features include interactive data, the tournament draw, up-to-date scores, daily order of play, and social media interaction.  A studio host has been added 2012, SportsCenter anchor Steve Weissman will provide updates and news from around the tournament, across each of the five additional channels.

ESPN International will deliver to the pan-regional ESPN networks in Latin America (including the HD networks) over 100 hours of coverage, showcasing the biggest names in tennis and players of local relevance. ESPN+ will air over 30 hours of live complementary coverage in primetime throughout the early rounds, while ESPN Dos and ESPN Brazil will re-air some of the best matches of the day during the first week of action.

ESPN Classic is airing 57 hours of memorable Australian Open matches from the past as well as interview shows and other tennis programming this week.  Highlights include:

Wed, Jan 11
7 p.m. — 1992 Men’s Final: Jim Courier tops Stefan Edberg in four sets
11 p.m. — 1995 Men’s Final: Andre Agassi outlasts Pete Sampras

Thur, Jan 12
7:30 p.m. — Up Close Classics: Arthur Ashe
11 p.m. — 2003 Women’s Final: Serena Williams defeats sister Venus 7-6, 3-6, 6-4

Fri, Jan 13
7:30 a.m. — Schaap One on One: Martina Navratilova
1 p.m. — 2009 Men’s Final: Rafael Nadal wins a five-set marathon over Roger Federer

ESPN On Demand will offer a variety of programming before, during, and after the 2012 Australian Open. Highlights of past finals are available through January 31 (men’s from 1995, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and women’s from 2010 and 2011).  A recap of each of this year’s Women’s and Men’s Finals will also be offered through February 13.

ESPN3 will again provide coverage of no fewer than eight live feeds (including a simulcast of ESPN2’s live coverage) from various courts – including the women’s and men’s semifinals and finals – nearly 600 hours.  For the first 11 days (Sun., Jan. 15 – Wed., Jan. 25), coverage will commence at 7 p.m. (11 a.m. in Melbourne, when play begins) and continue for at least seven hours.  The courts to be included are the “TV courts,” the ones most likely to have top matches:  Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Margaret Court Arena, plus Courts 2, 3, 6 and 8.  For the remainder of the tournament, ESPN3 will continue the ESPN2 simulcast, including the women’s (Jan. 28) and men’s (Jan. 29) finals, plus exclusive coverage of select men’s, women’s and mixed doubles play and the boys’ and girls’ finals.  For the first time, fans can access ESPN3 feeds from AustralianOpen.com.

Each window also will be available for on-demand replay following completion.  With ESPN3’s dynamic interface, fans will be able to fast-forward, rewind and pause action – during on-demand replay and live action.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com.  It is currently available to approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.  It is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app through an affiliated provider.

ESPN.com will once again feature Courtcast, a cutting-edge application presented by IBM, featuring official IBM tournament and real-time statistics, Hawk-Eye technology, a rolling Twitter feed, Cover It Live analysis and interactive poll questions. Slam Central, an aggregation of all the day’s top news, analysis, blogs and video, as well as a daily Digital Serve and At This Minute video segments with commentators in Melbourne discussing the results, will be a daily staple.  News and analysis from contributors Ravi Ubha and Tennis.com writers will add to the depth of coverage.  During the second week of play, the staff will interact with fans via live blogging.

ESPNdeportes.com will have the following content:  A daily webisode called “ESPiaNdo el Australian Open”; an “applet” featuring real-time, point-by-point scoring of all matches; live scores, results and brackets; columns, chats and blogs by TV commentators and other writers; polls; the “Ask ESPN” feature, prompting users to send their comments/questions via the website; video clips with highlights of daily action and analysis; TV scheduling information, and photo galleries.

ESPN International’s ESPN Play (ESPN 360 in Brazil) broadband service in Latin America will provide wall-to-wall coverage of the year’s first Grand Slam, airing over 600 hours of live tennis from every available televised court, including the men’s & women’s quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, all live. This streaming action will be available in over two million homes in 11 countries throughout Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Honduras, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Panama).

ESPN Mobile TV, a 24/7 channel for wireless, will provide 113 hours of live and simulcast coverage with ESPN2’s programming schedule.

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended added in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012.

ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.

In addition, broadband network ESPN3, now in nearly 70 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments and WTA Premier Events, and season-ending championships for both tours.  Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.  ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.


(For these charts, all times are Eastern, and each day “begins” at 6 a.m. ET. Therefore, the listing for Sun., Jan. 15 at 3 a.m. ET is very late on Sunday night.)

Date    Time (ET)    Event
Sun, Jan 15    6:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Mon, Jan 16    9 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Tue, Jan 17    Noon – 3 p.m.    Early round play    Same-day
9 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Wed, Jan 18    Noon – 3 p.m.   Early round play    Same-day
11 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.   Early round play    LIVE
Thur, Jan 19    Noon – 3 p.m.    Early round play    Same-day
11 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Early round play   LIVE
Fri, Jan 20    Noon – 3 p.m.    Early round play    Same-day
9 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Sat, Jan 21    10 a.m. – 1 p.m.    Early round play    Same-day
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Round of 16    LIVE
3 – 7 a.m.    Round of 16    LIVE
Sun, Jan 22    11 a.m.  – 3 p.m.    Round of 16    Same-day
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Round of 16    LIVE
3:30 – 6 a.m.    Round of 16    LIVE
Mon, Jan 23    Noon – 3 p.m.    Round of 16    Same-day
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
3:30 – 6 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
Tue, Jan 24    Noon – 3 p.m.    Quarterfinals    Same-day
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
3:30 – 6 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
Wed, Jan 25    Noon – 3 p.m.    Quarterfinals    Same-day
9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Women’s Semifinals    LIVE
3:30 – 6 a.m.    Men’s Semifinal #1    LIVE
Thurs, Jan 26    Noon – 3 p.m.    Men’s Semifinal #1    reair
3:30 – 6 a.m.    Men’s Semifinal #2    LIVE
Fri, Jan 27    Noon – 3 p.m.    Men’s Semifinal #2    reair
3 – 5:30 a.m.    Women’s Final    LIVE
Sat, Jan. 28    9 – 11 a.m.    Women’s Final    reair
10 p.m. – MID    Women’s Final    reair
3 – 6:30 a.m.    Men’s Final    LIVE
Sun, Jan 29    9 a.m. – 1 p.m.    Men’s Final    reair
9 p.m.–MID    Men’s Final    reair

Date    Time (ET)    Event
Sun, Jan 15    6:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Mon, Jan 16- Mon, Jan 23    3 – 7 a.m. and
7 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Early round play    LIVE
Mon, Jan 23    9 p.m. – 2 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
Tue, Jan 24- Wed, Jan 25    3:30 – 6 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
7 – 2 a.m.    Quarterfinals    LIVE
Wed, Jan 25    9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.    Women’s Semifinals    LIVE
Thurs, Jan 26    11 p.m. – 3:30 a.m.    Mixed Doubles SF/Women’s Doubles Finals    LIVE
3:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.    Men’s Semifinal #1    LIVE
Fri, Jan 27    3:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.    Men’s Semifinal #2    LIVE
9 p.m. – 1 a.m.    Girls and Boys Singles Finals    LIVE
Sat, Jan. 28    5:30 – 7:30 a.m.    Men’s Doubles Final    LIVE
3 – 5:30 a.m.    Women’s Final    LIVE
Sat, Jan. 29    12:30 – 2:30 a.m.    Mixed Doubles Final    LIVE
3 – 6:30 a.m.    Men’s Final    LIVE



Network Analyst and Tennis Channel Academy Series Host to Join Martina Navratilova, Bill Macatee for Channel’s Fifth Year in Melbourne
Thirteen Days of Live Match Coverage Set for Two-Week Major, First of Four Slams

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2012 – Tennis Channel is adding another Hall of Famer to its Australian Open booth this year, bringing two-time US Open winner Tracy Austin to Melbourne for its coverage of the season’s first major, Grand Slam competition.  Austin, who hosts the network’s Tennis Channel Academy series and has appeared as an analyst during telecasts of the US Open and women’s year-end championships, will offer commentary during the channel’s fifth airing of the annual two-week tournament, underway Monday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. ET.

Austin will join Tennis Channel lead commentator Martina Navratilova – a fellow Hall of Famer – and veteran sportscaster Bill Macatee, both of whom have appeared during every major ever covered by the network.  In all, Tennis Channel will devote approximately 175 hours of programming to the Australian Open this year, with 30 hours of live play, 85 hours of Australian Open Today and more than 60 hours of encore-match coverage.

“I’m excited to join Martina, Bill and the rest of the Tennis Channel team in Melbourne this year,” said Austin.  “As we go into the 2012 season, I look forward to seeing if a dominant No. 1 can emerge on the women’s side again.  It’s been fun watching new faces and first-time winners break through at the majors the past few years, but I’d like to see if anyone can step up, win Slams and play sustained, excellent tennis throughout the year.  On the men’s side, I think it’s great that Andy Murray’s brought in Ivan Lendl as his coach, someone with a champion’s mentality who may be able to finally push him over the top at the majors.”

New for the network’s Australian Open coverage in 2012 are 10 consecutive nights of prime-time matches, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, within its overall, 13-day coverage window (complete schedule follows).  This will take place from the first Monday through the second Wednesday, without any intermittent days off, as had occurred in previous years.

In addition to a live schedule that runs from the first day of play through the singles quarterfinals, men’s and women’s doubles finals, and mixed-doubles championship, Tennis Channel will again televise same-day encores of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and championships.

Coverage of all five Australian Open finals – mixed doubles and men’s and women’s singles and doubles – has been a Tennis Channel mainstay since its first year Down Under in 2008, when it became the first U.S. television network to air all of these championship matches.

Daily morning show Australian Open Today will run from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. ET most mornings (complete schedule follows), with the highlights, features, news updates and unseen matches that keeps American audiences up to speed with what happened Down Under while they were sleeping.  With minor exceptions, each edition will re-air every afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, leading into Tennis Channel’s live coverage at 7 p.m. ET.  As with Austin’s analysis and the 10 consecutive nights of live, prime-time play, the Australian Open Today afternoon encores are new for the network in 2012.

The tournament is part of Tennis Channel’s ongoing Grand Slam alliance with ESPN, which offers audiences a near round-the-clock tournament experience at tennis’ major events.  ESPN is producing all Australian Open coverage for both networks, which will cross-promote each other, with each channel utilizing its own commentators.

Australian Open On-Air Talent
Austin is perhaps best known for storming onto the tennis scene and dethroning four-time US Open champion Chris Evert in 1979, winning the tournament as a 16-year-old prodigy, the youngest US Open champion in history.  She held the No. 1 singles ranking in 1980 before a variety of injuries cut short her career, but nonetheless managed to win 30 career titles, including two US Open singles championships and a Wimbledon mixed-doubles title.  The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Austin into its wings in 1992.

She will add to a team that features Macatee as lead play-by-play announcer and Navratilova as lead commentator, roles both have held since 2008.  Navratilova, winner of more singles titles than anyone in professional tennis, and Macatee, the only current broadcaster to cover both Wimbledon and professional golf’s The Masters, have become synonymous with Tennis Channel’s Grand Slam coverage.  Both appear during network telecasts at all four majors: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Analyst Justin Gimelstob is another familiar face to Tennis Channel viewers, during Grand Slam coverage and throughout the year.  In addition to Macatee, Navratilova and Austin, this year in Melbourne he will lend his insight to play-by-play announcer Brett Haber, who joins the team after working with the network during the US Open and other competitions throughout the year.  Reporter and author Jon Wertheim will also be onboard, handling reporting duties during the event.  Wertheim’s articles and columns for Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/writers/jon_wertheim/archive/) are among the industry’s most popular.

Several members of Tennis Channel’s on-air talent team will be active on Twitter throughout the Australian Open: Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob), Bill Macatee (@BMacatee), Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim).

Digital Coverage
Tennis Channel’s talent during the Australian Open is not confined to the television screen.  Veteran tennis reporters Steve Flink, Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) and Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) will join humorist James LaRosa (@JamesLaRosa) in columns and blogs on the network’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, throughout the two-week tournament.  The site will also feature its usual real-time scoring, video highlights, interviews, Australian Open Today clips and interactive Australian Open draw.  Visitors have the chance to win multiple prizes this year as well, including a trip to the 2013 Australian Open (www.tennischannel.com/aussie_sweeps) and $500 prize packages from Wilson Sports as part of Tennis Channel’s exclusive Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game (www.tennischannel.com/racquetbracket).

New in 2012, Tennis Channel is introducing “Ask the Expert,” in which viewers can upload short videos of themselves asking questions for members of the network telecast team to answer on air during the Australian Open.  Clips that are selected will be televised prior to talent members’ answers.  Videos can be submitted at www.tennischannel.com.

During the Australian Open members of the media, television viewers and tennis fans also will be able to stay engaged with Tennis Channel via Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel).

Tennis Channel’s Live Australian Open Match Schedule (all times ET)
Date                                                    Time                           Event
Monday, Jan. 16                                 7 p.m.-9 p.m.               First-Round
Tuesday, Jan. 17                                 7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Second-Round
Wednesday, Jan. 18                            7 p.m.-11 p.m.             Second-Round
Thursday, Jan. 19                                7 p.m.-11 p.m.             Third-Round
Friday, Jan. 20                                    7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Third-Round
Saturday, Jan. 21                                7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Round of 16
Sunday, Jan. 22                                   7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Round of 16
Monday, Jan. 23                                 7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals
Tuesday, Jan. 24                                 7 p.m.-9 p.m.               Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Jan. 25                            7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.          TBA
Thursday, Jan. 26                                11 p.m.-3 a.m.             Women’s Doubles Final
and Mixed Doubles Semifinal
Saturday, Jan. 28                                5:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.     Men’s Doubles Final
Sunday, Jan. 29                                   12:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m.   Mixed Doubles Final

Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule (all times ET)
Australian Open Today airs Monday, Jan. 16-Wednesday, Jan. 25.  The program generally runs from 7 a.m.-11 a.m., with same-day encore presentations each afternoon.  Exceptions are (all times ET):
Monday, Jan. 16 – 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 – 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Monday, Jan. 23, through Wednesday, Jan. 25 – 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Afternoon encore editions of Australian Open Today take place from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. every day other than Monday, Jan. 16 (1 p.m.-7 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 21 (1 p.m.-4 p.m. / 4 p.m.-7 p.m.)


  1. MY NEPHEW’S WIFE WILL BE PLAYING IN THE Amateur tournament in Australia. Is there any chance that I could watch her play on espn 2 or 3 or stream it on my computer?

    If so, could you please tell me @ what day (Chicago time) and the approximate times…I am a little confused at the timings.


  2. Thanks espn for hosting the four grand slams. I don’t know how would be without you. I don’t mis any time of it. when I’m not home I tape it.
    thanks again.

    maria sanchez
    westhester county.

Comments are closed.

About Ryan Berenz 1938 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.