INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - In addition to the thousands of fans set to call the Indian Wells Tennis Garden home over the next two weeks, hundreds of media outlets from all over the world will set up camp. This year, the tournament welcomes a new member to the media team, the British Broadcasting Corporation. If you cannot sit courtside, it's the next best option to enjoy the matches. "Just to give people a sense that there's action all around, of course there is," said Jonathan Overend, a broadcaster for the BBC. "I often say on the air, It's like you're a bird flying over the venue, this is what you would see, what you would hear and that's what we want to convey."
The team from BBC plans to broadcast matches everyday as the tournament's official radio host. It was an easy decision for the BBC. "Outside of the grand slam events, its probably, well definitely one of the biggest ones now, and they wanted us here," said Steve Jones, a producer from the BBC. "So the fact that they wanted us here, it's an honor to be here, and the weather's good too."
BBC typically only covers the Slams and major events in the UK, another positive sign of where the tournament is headed. "Well it's another thing towards establishing our credibility and where we are in the game," said tournament director Steve Simon. "To have BBC decide that they want to take this event, and they only take the slams is quiet a compliment."
It's a mutual benefit for both sides. This could open the door towards more events in the states for the BBC. "Here we've got a full team," said Jones. "We're now expanding, maybe if this goes well, we'll look at other tournaments. Maybe Miami, Cincinnati, places like that."
As for the next two weeks, Overend gave his potential listeners this message. "Tune in, enjoy it, and stick with us," said Overend. "And appreciate the service for a fortnight."
You can catch the radio coverage here: http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/Multimedia/BNP-Paribas-Open-Radio.aspx