Cord cutters have a new way to watch live tennis matches on Samsung TV Plus after Samsung and the Tennis Channel have announced T2, a new free streaming channel in the U.S, according to a new report from Variety. The new ad-supported 24/7 streaming channel will live stream matches from major tournaments which aren’t usually televised. The channel will only be available in the U.S. with the Samsung TV Plus platform having exclusive availability for the first year.
“As we see cord-cutting taking ahold of the entire industry, we believe Samsung becomes the next version television,” Takashi Nakano, the Los Angeles-based senior director of business development and content acquisition for Samsung TV Plus, told Variety. “The next phase for us is this FAST evolution. This is distinctly broadcast (airing live) but it’s also over-the-top and can have dynamic advertising. This is a good way to deliver users the content they want.”
Over the last few months, Samsung has been loading up on content for Samsung TV Plus. Recently, the platform paired with LA-based production and distribution Electric Entertainment to launch ElectricNow. Back in October, the platform added 11 new channels to its lineup. With the addition of T2, Samsung is looking to capitalize on the popularity of sports and cord cutting.
Like other channels on Samsung TV Plus, T2 will be carried on the platform on an ad-revenue share basis. Sinclair Broadcast Group is the parent company of the Tennis Channel/T2, and the new deal will allow the company to make the most out of the channel’s tournament rights with around 25 million to 30 million U.S. homes having Samsung TV Plus.
“There are always multiple overlapping events going on” at any big tournament, Tennis Channel chief Ken Solomon told Variety. “We can strip out at any given moment one match of the 10, 20 or 30 going on simultaneously and put it on this platform. We can make this an always-live linear channel without disturbing anything we were already doing in linear and streaming.”
To coincide with the debut of T2 later this week, the channel will be streaming the BNP Parabis Open tournament, which runs March 10-20 in Indian Wells near Palm Springs, California. The channel will have coverage of the 11 days of competition, which will also be covered on the Tennis Channel, and the Tennis Channel app (subscription required). The Miami Open will take place from March 21 to April 2, and it will be aired the same way.