ESPN Increases Coverage at Indian Wells: First Ball to Last Ball across ESPN Networks; More TV Hours and Most Hours Ever on ESPN3


ESPN Increases Coverage at Indian Wells: First Ball to Last Ball across ESPN Networks; More TV Hours and Most Hours Ever on ESPN3

  • TV Coverage Starts March 13, Culminates with Championships on March 17
  • Osaka Defends Title; Djokovic, Federer Seek Sixth Crown in California Desert


ESPN’s first-ball-to-last ball coverage across TV and the ESPN app of the BNP Paribas Open from Indian Wells, Calif., will begin Wednesday, March 6.   ESPN3 on the ESPN app will offer more matches and hours of competition than ever before, with fans having access to up to nine courts simultaneously (one more than last year) and a total of more than 600 hours, featuring all ATP and WTA matches not on an ESPN TV network.

The TV schedule of 25 live hours (up from 21) begins Wednesday, March 13, and includes the men’s semifinals on ABC on Saturday, March 16, and the women’s and men’s championships in an ESPN2 doubleheader Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. ET.

ESPN’s lead tennis host Chris Fowler will be joined by Darren Cahill, Chrissie Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe.

  • Top-ranked Naomi Osaka, the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, will defend the title, which was the first of her career.
  • A top-notch field awaits Osaka, including No. 2 Simona Halep (2015 champion), No. 3 Petra Kvitova (Australian Open finalist), No. 4 American Sloane Stephens and No. 10 Serena Williams who has won the event twice, but not since 2001 (she boycotted it for many years).
  • The 2018 men’s winner, Juan Martin del Potro, is still recuperating from injury, which leaves the door open to the all-time greats who have all enjoyed much success at this event: Novak Djokovic and last year’s finalist Roger Federer (five wins apiece at Indian Wells) and Rafael Nadal (three).  Between them, that trio has taken 13 of the last 15 winner’s checks.
  • Djokovic and Nadal top the rankings, followed by Sascha Zverev and Federer, fresh off his 100th career title, in Dubai. Last week’s other winner, Nick Kyrgios, is only ranked No. 33, but clearly can play with anyone, as evidenced by his march through Acapulco (defeated Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner and Zverev).


Date Time (ET) Event Network
Mar 6 – 17 2 p.m. – finish BNP Paribas Open –

ATP & WTA feeds, up to 9 courts

Wed, Mar 13 2 – 6 p.m. BNP Paribas Open – Round of 16 ESPNEWS
Thu, Mar 14 2 – 6 p.m. BNP Paribas Open – Quarterfinals ESPNEWS
  8 p.m. – MID BNP Paribas Open – Quarterfinals ESPNEWS
Fri, Mar 15 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. BNP Paribas Open – Men’s Quarterfinal ESPN2
  MID – 2 a.m. BNP Paribas Open – Women’s Semifinal ESPN2
Sat, Mar 16 2 – 6 p.m. BNP Paribas Open – Men’s Semifinals ABC
Sun, Mar 17 4 – 9 p.m. BNP Paribas Open – Men’s & Women’s Championships ESPN2


Next Tennis from ESPN

ESPN will have extensive coverage of the Miami Open presented by Itaú beginning Wednesday, March 20, including first-ball-to-last-ball coverage on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.  TV joins on Tuesday, March 26, and continues through the semifinals and championships.




Dave Nagle

It was 32 years at ESPN for me as of November 2018 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals and Indy 500; Wimbledon (11 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.