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Producer of Highly Acclaimed “Matchpoint” Television Named 2002 USTA Media Excellence Award Winner

April 17, 2003 04:26 PM

Jeff Batten, owner of Batten Communications and producer of the successful “Matchpoint Atlanta” and “Matchpoint Southeast” television shows, has been named as the USTA National Media Excellence Award winner in the Broadcast category. The award will be presented to Batten at a ceremony during the 2003 US Open in New York City.

“Jeff Batten has been an integral partner in helping the USTA to grow the game of tennis,” said John Callen, Executive Director of the USTA Southern Section. “His dedication and love of the game is unrivaled among his peers in the media. I offer him our congratulations and look forward to continuing our relationship as we strive to accomplish the USTA Mission of promoting and developing the growth of tennis.”

"Tennis has been a focal point in my life since I played my first league match 25 years ago so 'Matchpoint' has always been a labor of love,” explained Batten. “I'm truly honored that the world's foremost tennis organization has recognized the value in the television programs we produce."

Jeff Batten is the owner of Batten Communications, a full service television and commercial production company in Atlanta, GA. Since 1993 he has been specializing in producing high quality sports shows for the Southeastern area of the United States– focusing most of his attention on two tennis specific news shows, “Matchpoint Atlanta” and “Matchpoint Southeast.”

In 2002, two versions of “Matchpoint” aired over a 20-week schedule. “Matchpoint Atlanta,” which first launched in 1997, aired on WAGA-TV FOX 5 in Atlanta. FOX 5 in Atlanta reaches 2.2 million homes, making it the 10th largest television market in the nation. “Matchpoint Southeast” debut in 2002 and airs on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) to a 10 state southeastern audience, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. CSS reaches 4.1 million homes in the Southeast region.

Both “Matchpoint” television shows share content and are very ambitious in regard to coverage and insight. In 2002, “Matchpoint” reported from the Memphis-Kroger St. Jude ATP and WTA event, Miami’s NASDAQ 100, Amelia Island’s WTA tournament and the Charlotte Fed Cup competition. This past season the shows profiled stars such as Andy Roddick, James Blake and Venus Williams and has also featured celebrities with an interest in tennis, such as Sir Elton John.

In addition to his professional tennis coverage, the program featured recreational tennis play, including the USA League Tennis Georgia State Championships, junior competition like the Peach State Junior Classic and collegiate events such as the NCAA Championships. Both shows also feature topics like tennis nutrition and playing tips.

Beginning its seventh season in 2003, “Matchpoint” television is a USTA Southern Section award winner (Matchpoint Atlanta won the 2001 USTA Southern Section Media Excellence Award) and the region’s only source for weekly tennis news and information. It is the only 30-minute magazine format profiling players, teams and stories and professional tennis news and features.

Batten’s goal for both “Matchpoint Atlanta” and “Matchpoint Southeast” is to increase interest in the sport and to grow the game. Over the years he has been an important USTA Southern Section partner and has helped promote several USA Tennis programs and activities, including USA League Tennis presented by Lincoln, USA Team Tennis for Youth and the USA Tennis Month kick-off event in Atlanta. In years’ past Batten has covered the Verizon Tennis Challenge.

Batten is currently shooting for his newest show, “Matchpoint America,” which is due to launch on The Tennis Channel in May of this year.

The USTA Media Excellence Awards are presented annually to individuals or media outlets that have most contributed to the game of tennis by disseminating knowledge of the sport to the general public. A media winner is selected in two categories – print and broadcast. Nominees were judged on the basis of work from the 2002 calendar year. Each winner will receive their own personal plaque and permanent recognition on a separate plaque placed in the US Open Media Center. Winners also receive lodging and transportation to NY during the US Open.

 

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