US Open, CBS Television redo rights deal


May 7, 2007

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- The U.S. Open and CBS have agreed to a new six-year deal worth about $145 million for broadcasting the Grand Slam tennis tournament.

They tore up the last three years of an agreement that was to run through 2008; the new deal was agreed to last year and runs through 2011, the USTA said Monday.

It also gives CBS the rights to events in the U.S. Open Series, the circuit of hard-court warmup tournaments leading up to the season's last major.

The contract represents about a 20 percent decline in the rights fee that CBS will pay the USTA. But the agreement also includes a revenue-sharing component that allows the USTA to get a percentage of TV ad spending after CBS reaches a minimum guarantee.

CBS began airing the U.S. Open in 1968.

"The U.S. Open is one of our premier properties, and our goal was to ensure that the U.S. Open remained at CBS," CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus said.

U.S. cable rights to the tournament are held by USA Network through 2008 under a more traditional rights-fee deal.
It seems that sports ratings for alot of sports are declining. United States Figure Skating just inked a deal with NBC that's similar to this one, except it's all ad profit sharing. I just hope interest in declining sports can be piqued before networks have no more interest in showcasing them.