As the second grand slam of the year, the French Open is one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the season. Not only is it the only grand slam played on clay courts, but it is a historic event that has been happening just about every year since 1891. For nearly ten years, the French Open on the men’s side basically felt like a routine year in and year out as Rafael Nadal won nine out of ten tournaments from 2005 to 2014. Last season, Stan Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic in the men’s finals and Serena Williams beat Lucie Šafářová on the women’s side.
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams sit atop the rankings heading into the French Open and both are considered favorites. On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal is always considered a serious contender even though he still has not fully returned to his 2014 form. Roger Federer, now ranked No. 2, and Andy Murray will also likely be in the conversation as well as Wawrinka who looks to repeat as French Open winner.
Serena is the early favorite, but Angie Kerber hopes to keep her hope of the season grand slam alive after achieving what she called a dream in winning the Australian Open. Other contenders include Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka. There is obviously a lot of hype going into the French Open, so let’s take a look at how cord cutters can watch.
Tournament action will air from May 22 through June 5 across NBC, ESPN, and Tennis Channel.
A digital antenna like a Mohu Leaf will get you easy access to any of the 2016 French Open matches that are broadcast on NBC. The antenna can receive other channels as well like CBS, ABC, and FOX and sends them to your TV in uncompressed high definition. You can check which channels and how strong the coverage will be in your area with reception map from the FCC. NBC will be broadcasting live coverage during the entire tournament free on its over-the-air network.
Most of the broadcast coverage in the early rounds looks like it will take place on the weekends based on the latest released schedule. Coverage may be spotty early on, but NBC has exclusive live coverage rights for the Men’s and Women’s Finals at the French Open. So, an antenna is the best option watch the final matches live on your TV.
A full-fledged cable alternative, PlayStation Vue will let you watch more of the rounds prior to the final matches. NBCSN will broadcast live coverage of the French Open daily, and it is one of the several cable channels you can live stream on Vue. Others include ESPN, TBS, TNT, CNN, AMC, Food Network, and A&E.
The basic package Vue costs $29.99 per month in most markets. However, in markets where local channels are offered live to stream, the base package starts at $39.99 per month. Currently, you need a PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, or Amazon Fire Stick to sign up for the service. Learn more about Vue here.
In 2015, the Tennis Channel made its way into live streaming and launched its Tennis Channel Plus app. The Tennis Channel recognized the growing trend of cable cutting, which was measured in a survey done by Mohu and Public Policy Polling. The streaming app features more than 650 live events throughout the year including matches from over 45 tournaments.
Obviously, due to its inclusion in this list, the French Open is one of the featured tournaments.
At last report, it looks like Tennis Channel Plus will include live coverage of French Open matches and also have a strong on-demand replay library for the tournament. Prior to the French Open, there is already more than 1000 hours of on-demand content on the service, so you will have plenty to keep you busy on the app. An annual subscription will run you $69.99 and it is compatible with Androids, iOS devices, Roku, and Apple TV devices.
Questions about how to follow the French Open? Drop us a line!
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.