Former tennis player Vijay Amritraj announced the second season of the Champions Tennis League. The announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of new players and new teams along with a few tweaks in the game’s format.
As in Season 1, this year too, CTL will feature six city-based teams across India with Mumbai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad continuing their association while Raipur and Nagpur join the league.
The sixth team will be announced in due course of time from among Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. CTL will continue its partnership with Multi Screen Media (MSM)’s Sony Six, which holds the exclusive broadcasting rights for tournament in the Indian subcontinent.
Prasanna Krishnan, Sony Six’s business head, said, “We are pleased to continue our partnership as official broadcasters of the second edition of CTL on Sony Six. We have seen an upsurge in tennis viewing in the past years and have responded to the consumers’ demand with the addition of CTL. With the tournament enjoying a prime-time slot on Sony Six, fans can look forward to home-grown athletes playing alongside international players and legends.”
A key learning from last year was having two matches on the same day meant almost seven hours of tennis viewing at a stretch, he added. “This is too much even for the most ardent tennis fan. This year, the matches will be 2.5 hours each and only one match per day. This way, it’s a crisper and tighter programming.”
The team at Sony Six is yet to go to market with the ad-sales strategy, but Krishnan is confident of a good response. As of now, there are no plans to telecast the CTL on MSM’s new sports channel Sony Kix.
The tournament will see 13 matches played over a two-week period from November 23 to December 6. The teams will be structured into two groups, each having three teams, where all teams play each other in a home-and-away format.
The team with the highest number of games won in their respective group will play each other in the grand finale to win prize money of Rs 1 crore. The runner-up will win Rs 50 lakh.
CTL teams will feature international male and female players. Each of the six teams will also have an international legend as their playing captain, apart from a noted Indian male tennis player, plus a top-ranked junior Indian girl and boy from each city. The teams will also travel to other cities.
Amritraj said, “The inaugural season of Champions Tennis League saw many international stars take their world-class talent to six cities in India with great players bringing action-packed and exciting tennis to all parts of the country. Cities like Raipur and Nagpur will get to see world-class tennis and we are very delighted to have these cities join CTL in 2015. This year, we move to 14 days, from 10 last year, and CTL promises to be ‘bigger, better and stronger’.”