The ATP Tour and WTA Tour are pushing ahead with efforts to merge the commercial and media rights of the men's and women's tennis tours, bringing in an external adviser to study options, three people familiar with the situation said.

The groups, which are run by representatives of the players and tournaments, have hired consultancy McKinsey & Company, one of the people said. A second person said the appointment happened earlier this year.

A deal could value the emerging entity at around £3 billion ($3.84 billion), two of the people said.