Categories

How to Watch the French Open without Cable

Last Updated:
Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running! We earn referral fees for some of the products & services we recommend. Learn more
0 Shares

As one of tennis’ Grand Slam events, it is a must-watch for tennis fans. It runs from Sunday, May 22, 2022 through Sun, Jun 5, 2022. Read on to learn everything you need to know to enjoy the whole event without a cable or satellite contract.

In a hurry? If you want full coverage of the French Open, you really need to have both NBC and the Tennis Channel. These services provide them:

  • Sling TV: With its Sports Extra add-on, this low cost service provides it all. And you can try it free for 3 days!
  • FuboTV: This sports-heavy streaming service will let you watch all of the French Open and more. Try it with a free 7-day trial.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Although a bit more expensive, this service also provides exclusive access to many Bally Sports channels. Risk free with a 14-day money-back guarantee.

The French Open, which is held in the heart of Paris and is officially known as Roland Garros, is famous for its clay surfaces and how tactically and physically demanding of a surface that is to play on. Regardless, as one of the four Grand Slam events held on an annual basis, it is a must-see event for tennis fans.

For just over two weeks every spring, 128 men and 128 women play through seven rounds of competition to determine which two are the last ones standing and the ones rewarded with the Coupe des Mousquetaires and Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen. Numerous other competitions, such as doubles, wheelchair, and youth events, are held here as well.

Those based in the US have many options to watch some or all of the event. The only streaming service that offers NBC, Tennis Channel, and Bally Sports channels is DIRECTV STREAM ($84.99/mo) while Peacock Premium ($4.99/mo) and Tennis Channel Plus ($109.99/yr) are standalone services.

Serena Williams - French Open
Cropped from Serena Williams at 2013 French Open by Yann Caradec under CC BY-SA 2.0.

French Open

The storied history of the French Open dates to 1891, when the competition was solely open to players who were members of French-based clubs. However, it was not only open to French citizens as its first winner, H Briggs, was a British citizen who was a member of a Paris-based club. This restriction remained in place until 1925. Another step was taken in 1968, when it became an open event, allowing professionals to play in it as well.

Entering the 2022 competition, Rafael Nadal has the most French Open men’s singles championships with 13, eight of those being won in the 2010s and another in 2020. He is followed on that list by Max Decugis, who won eight between 1903 and 1914.

The first women’s champion was Adine Masson. She defeated Suzanne Girod in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, in the 1897 final. Chris Evert has the most women’s titles with seven, the first of which was won in 1974 and the last one in 1986. She is followed by Steffi Graf, who claimed six between 1987 and 1999, and Suzanne Lenglen, who won six as well, between 1920 and 1926.

No Tiebreaker in Final Set

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament in which no tiebreaker is ever implemented to decide a final set in singles play. In all other sets, the players will break a 6-6 tie with a tiebreaker, the first to seven while owning at least a two-point lead claiming it. Conversely, in the third set of women’s matches and the fifth stanza in men’s, if the score is 6-6, they will continue to play under regular tennis rules until one has taken a two-game lead.

This can lead to some epic matches. One of those was a men’s contest in 2020 between Lorenzo Giustino and Corentin Moutet, which the former player won, 0-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3), 2-6, 18-16, in six hours and five minutes, the second-longest match in French Open history.

It should be noted that Wimbledon matches can be long as well, but they can no longer reach a scoreline such as 18-16. There, a tiebreaker is implemented once the score is 12-12 in the final set.

Clay

The French Open’s clay surface makes it a unique competition among the Grand Slam events. The two most significant impacts that this surface have on play is their slowing down of the ball and causing it to bounce higher. As a result of the longer rallies that result, endurance plays a significant role in determining who lasts the longest in the tournaments played here.

However, that does not apply to a player’s health otherwise as this surface is particularly easy on joints and bones.

Grand Slam

The French Open is one of four Grand Slam events. The first is the Australian Open, which is played in Melbourne around the latter part of January. It is followed by the French Open, which starts in May and concludes in June.

The first part of July is when Wimbledon, which is in London, takes place. The final Grand Slam event is the US Open, which is held in August and September in New York.

2022 French Open Schedule

The 2022 French open runs from Sun, May 22nd through Sun, Jun 5. Here is the schedule so far as we know it at this time:

  • Sun May 22: 1st Round
  • Mon May 23: 1st Round
  • Tue May 24: 1st Round
  • Wed May 25: 2nd Round
  • Thu May 26: 2nd Round
  • Fri May 27: 3rd Round
  • Sat May 28: 3rd Round
  • Sun May 29: 4th Round
  • Mon May 30: 4th Round
  • Tue May 31: Quarterfinals
  • Wed Jun 1: Quarterfinals
  • Thu Jun 2: Semifinals
  • Fri Jun 3: Semifinals
  • Sat Jun 4: Finals (women’s singles)
  • Sun Jun 5: Finals (men’s singles).

Where to Watch the French Open

Those in the US who want to watch extensive French Open coverage can get it via live TV streaming services that offer NBC and Tennis Channel (some content from Tennis Channel will likely also air on Bally Sports channel). Additionally, coverage will be available from specialty services Peacock Premium and Tennis Channel Plus.

The media entities that own French Open broadcasting and streaming rights vary around the world. For example, those in the UK can watch matches on ITV, and Aussies can watch on the Nine Network, both of those being free-to-air channels. Conversely, New Zealanders need to pay for access to Sky Sport to watch the French Open while Canadians will need to secure access to TSN.

In addition, Eurosport provides coverage of the French Open to Europeans, including those based in the UK.

Ways to Watch the French Open Without Cable

US-based cord-cutters looking to watch the French Open have a few options. However, unfortunately, it is not simple to enjoy comprehensive coverage of this tournament.

Antenna

With an antenna, you can watch all matches that are being broadcast nationally on NBC. Although this selection is limited, it does include the men’s and women’s finals, partial coverage of the men’s and women’s semifinals, and select weekend and Memorial Day contests. Best of all: it’s free!

Find out more in our antenna guide.

Live TV Streaming Services

To get full coverage of this 2+ week event, you will need to have access to NBC and Tennis Channel. Only the highest-profile matches will appear on NBC so hardcore fans will want Tennis. Some coverage will likely appear on Bally Sports as well, but it isn’t clear that this will be any different from what appears on Tennis.

Sling TV

Sling TV Logo (2021 100x50)

Sling Blue ($35/mo) provides access to local NBC affiliates in select markets. You can get the Tennis Channel with its Sports Extra add-on ($11/mo). This plan comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR and streaming on 3 devices at the same time.

Get more information about Sling TV in our review.

FuboTV

fubotv logo

FuboTV ($64.99/mo) offers NBC in almost universally in its 100+ channel lineup. You can also get the Tennis Channel by paying extra for its Fubo Extra add-on ($7.99/mo) or its Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on ($10.99/mo). It includes 250 hours of cloud DVR and up to 3 simultaneous screens.

Our FuboTV review has complete details.

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM’s Choice plan ($84.99/mo) is the one that you want to get to secure access to NBC and the Tennis Channel as well as any Bally Sports affiliates that are available in your local area. It comes with 20 hours of cloud DVR but an amazing 20 simultaneous streams at home and 3 on the road.

For more information, see our DIRECTV STREAM review.

Others

These two streaming services don’t offer Tennis Channel but are otherwise excellent:

  • Hulu + Live TV ($69.99/mo): Offers 85+ live TV channels, an excellent on-demand library, and Disney+. It also includes ESPN+, which is great for watching the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.
  • YouTube TV ($64.99/mo): Offers 85+ live TV including a good selection of sports.

Specialty Streaming Services

Two channel-specific services provide live coverage. Note that neither offer their live channels but that shouldn’t matter for this or any other sporting event.

  • Peacock Premium ($4.99/mo): This tends to consist of some of the action that is played in the evenings in Paris, in the late afternoons in the US. Peacock Premium’s coverage also included the men’s doubles final in 2021.
  • Tennis Channel Plus ($109.99/yr): Provides simultaneous access to multiple courts of action, the French Open mosaic. This is especially useful during the tournament’s first week, when the 20-court complex is used extensively.

Outside the US

Some of the streaming options available to those outside of the US include the ITV Player (UK) and 9Now (Australia), both free to access. Eurosport also streams a significant selection of French Open matches to subscribers across Europe.

Streaming Devices to Watch the French Open Live

The live TV services we discussed above support most of devices in use today: Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and web browsers.

Sling TV Tennis
Sling TV provides the channels you need to watch the French Open and more.

FuboTV and Sling TV also support Android TV, LG smart TVs, and Xbox gaming systems. Fubo supports Hisense and Vizio smart TVs. Sling TV supports the Oculus VR system. And DIRECTV STREAM offers its own device you can use.

Less popular streaming devices are also supported to some extent. See our reviews for complete details.

Summing Up

Those based in the US who want to enjoy as complete coverage of the French Open as possible should get DIRECTV STREAM (Choice — $84.99/mo), FuboTV, or Sling TV. For a whole new experience, you might want to check out Tennis Channel Plus ($109.99/yr).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.