U.S. Open tennis will leave CBS for ESPN in 2015

The U.S. Open tennis tournament will leave CBS and move all its television coverage to ESPN starting in 2015 under an 11-year contract.

The deal means all U.S. Open coverage will be on cable TV only in two years.

ESPN has televised the U.S. Open along with CBS since 2009.

CBS has televised the U.S. Open every year since 1968, but its current deal expires after the 2014 event.

ESPN will assume all broadcasting of the tournament from 2015 until 2025, even though CBS is in about 15 million more households than ESPN.

"We expect the audience for the U.S. Open to increase, not to decrease, with all the platforms that we have digitally," said ESPN president John Skipper. "This sort of old canard that there's something to be lost by going from broadcast to cable, I would submit, has it wrong. It is just the opposite. Moving to ESPN allows the opportunity to reach more people across platforms, and that's what we believe will happen."

"ESPN is the strongest brand in sports. It puts the U.S. Open at the center of American sports culture like never before," said USTA executive director and chief operating officer Gordon Smith.