Ken Solomon

Title: President, Tennis Channel

Years in Cable: More than 25

Education: UCLA

One Word that Best Describes Me: Lucky

 

Talk about smashing the serve. After years of fighting to get Tennis Channel broader carriage, Solomon just got a major assist via Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $350 million purchase of the network. Even before the deal closed, Sinclair had already used retrans contracts with various MVPDs to secure additional carriage for Tennis. The partnership nearly doubles the network’s reach across America, expanding Tennis in to 50 million homes from 35 million. And Solomon isn’t going anywhere, with terms of the deal including the management team staying in place. Solomon’s also riding high after the successful rollout of Tennis Channel Plus, with expansion plans underway for the OTT service.

 

What does the future look like for skinny bundles and flexible packaging? Lots of permutations (but hopefully there’s a fuzzy yellow ball in there somewhere).

Virtual reality is… going to transform the tennis experience on television.

What excites you most about DOCSIS 3.1? It’s like a plane—I’m thrilled it flies but don’t need to know how.

My cable industry mentor and why: Bud Collins, a mentor for everyone in sports television

My personal theme song: “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty

My typical breakfast: Green juice, espresso, two eggs, white truffle oil, dried red pepper, mozzarella and avocado on a whole-wheat tortilla

The biggest innovation in cable over the last year: Sinclair Broadcasting Group buying Tennis Channel; a whole new model with huge upside – from the Grand Slams to hyper-local – for the sport, fans and distributors.

Last show I watched not on my network(s): The Americans, Billions, Shameless

Favorite charity event you work with: The Anti-Defamation League.  We must delegitimize hatred, racism, bigotry and polarization if we’re to survive

“Star Trek” celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. So if Mr. Spock’s motto is “Live Long and Prosper,” mine is… “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

New favorite binge:  Vinyl, Broads and Making a Murderer

I watch the majority of programming on this device:  iPhone 6s, for jumping from match to match on Tennis Channel Everywhere and Tennis Channel Plus 24/7, especially during the French Open

Favorite Podcast: Beyond the Baseline by Sports Illustrated writer and Tennis Channel contributor Jon Wertheim, the best in the business.

 

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