U.S. Open ads all but shut

CBS says 90% of inventory sold ahead of coverage

CBS has sold close to 90% of its U.S. Open tennis commercial inventory at an average, flat cost-per-thousand rate compared with last year, the network said Wednesday.

"We are at a comparable sellout level to where we were last year at this point," said John Bogusz, executive vp sports sales at CBS.

This year's tournament runs Monday-Sept. 13, with CBS' coverage beginning Sept. 5. Last year, it began six days later, running from Aug. 25-Sept. 7, with CBS' coverage starting Aug. 30.

CBS will air 37 1/2 hours of match coverage this year.

Bogusz said there has not been an influx of new advertisers, but such traditional sponsors as American Express and Lexus are back. He added that small amounts of commercial inventory remain for all rounds, including the men's and women's semifinals and finals.

CBS will televise 21 hours of coverage from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. each day Sept. 5-7. The network also will also show the women's semifinals matches Sept. 11 from 12:30-6 p.m, the men's semifinals Sept. 12 from noon-6 p.m. and the women's championship that night from 8-10 p.m.

The men's championship will air Sept. 13 from 4-7 p.m.

For the first time this year under its new cable TV rights contract, ESPN will televise 50 hours of daytime tennis during the tournament's first week and another 42 hours during the second week, including one three-hour, primetime weeknight window.

USA Network previously aired the cable coverage.