TV listings for most channels up to 10 February have been released, and notable in its absence is any coverage of the first round of the Davis Cup on Eurosport on the weekend of 3-5 February.
The BBC’s listings include the Canada v GB tie but, with the time difference of -5 hours, it looks like the BBC don’t wish to disrupt their main channels’ evening schedules. The schedules for BBC Two show late night highlights on Friday 3rd and Sunday 5th, with live coverage of Saturday 4th’s doubles rubber.
The whole tie will be shown live on the BBC’s red button, which unfortunately means standard definition quality, not HD. Listings for the red button channel show coverage from 20:00 on Friday 3rd February, when the action begins in Ottawa, and from 17:00 on Sunday 5th.
However, the lack of any Eurosport coverage raises questions about broadcasting of the Davis Cup in the UK should Great Britain fail to make it past each round, as well as the Fed Cup – the equivalent competition for women. In the past, Eurosport have shown ties involving other countries when GB aren’t playing, including last year’s Davis Cup final between Croatia and Argentina.
In January 2014, the BBC and Eurosport signed a deal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to share rights to GB’s Davis Cup ties for three years, so it appears that deal has now expired.
Rights for the Davis Cup have been previously sold by country separately, to broadcasters such as France Télévisions and RTS in Serbia; and Eurosport did not hold the rights Europe-wide. In 2015, the ITF partnered with BeIN Sports to handle television and media rights for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.
Both of these may be reasons why Eurosport has chosen not to renew rights for 2017, as their recent strategy has been to purchase rights for multiple countries together. There has been no announcement yet from the ITF or any broadcaster about Davis Cup television rights for 2017.
Current confirmed listings:
- Friday 3 February, live coverage on BBC Red Button at 20:00, highlights on BBC Two at 23:05
- Saturday 4 February, live coverage on BBC Two at 18:00
- Sunday 5 February, live coverage on BBC Red Button at 17:00, highlights on BBC Two at 23:15
Updated 26 January with confirmed BBC Red Button coverage.