Tennis Channel nets Sampras

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Tennis ace Pete Sampras is lending his name and some of his winnings to the
upcoming Tennis Channel cable net.

On Thursday, Sampras said he's investing an undisclosed amount into the
channel as part of its second round of financing.

The Tennis Channel is expected to launch as a digital net in July 2002.

Sampras also plans to host an instructional show and act as a

Former Viacom and Universal Studios chief Frank Biondi, the net's largest
investor, said Sampras' involvement should help the channel cut distribution
deals with operators.

Distribution and financing go hand in hand, they feed off each other,' he

Biondi added that he expects to announce some carriage deals in early

The channel recently announced the acquisition of more than 1,000 hours of
live tennis, including some ATP, WTA and collegiate action.