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View Full Version : Did networks covering tennis always replay Americana over live tennis?


Kobble
05-31-2007, 02:35 PM
I don't remember this to be so, and tennis was much more popular back in the eighties and early nineties. If it wasn't always this way, then why would they think it will help tennis popularity? It seems backwards.

Moose Malloy
05-31-2007, 02:44 PM
Yeah, you are right. I have a ton of matches on tape from the 80s/90s, they would constantly switch courts & often go to a close 5 setter in lieu of matches involving top Americans back then.

Tennis declined a lot in popularity by the late 90s, so program directors made some unusual decisions regarding their choice of matches.

Its funny, I read an interview with the ESPN Director of Programming in tennisweek a few years ago. He said he got the job around 2002. That's precisely when tennis on espn started going down the dumper! I don't kow if he's still there, but whoever is, is following in his footsteps. I recall him providing reasons why they stuck with tape-delay instead of live broadcasts. they made no sense.

Its funny, tennis gets poor ratings regardless, I'm surprised they are so adamant in sticking to their tape delay format.

You never saw tape delay on espn's broadcast of the french open in the 80s. they had no problem showing a ton of lendl, becker, edberg, wilander, regardless of nationality.

I guess tennis such a niche sport now, they aren't interested in growing the game really, just in filling a timeslot as easily as possible.

Kobble
05-31-2007, 03:05 PM
I remember seeing an array of tennis throughout the day, and then replays(if they were worth watching) were on a highlight show. Now, the highlight show is for showing matchpoints of matches they didn't show. I think some of it has to do with American tennis being a poor product, but then there is Sharapova. She isn't American, but she is Nike's little darling. There is a method to the madness; profit per unit of time. Livestream is the only hope for hardcore fans. I can only hope it grows.

skip1969
05-31-2007, 03:17 PM
some good points. it's funny cos espn has led the way in covering other sports (though they can get carried away sometimes with five people talking at the same time and saying nothing) but as far as tennis is concerned . . .

one of the things that really fascinated me about pro tennis when i was younger was that it was so international. players from everywhere, playing all over the world . . . i mean, even though in america it was considered a country club sport, i never saw it like that.

but the coverage in america has become so jingoistic over the years that they've backed themselves into a corner they can't get out of. instead of marketing the 'global' aspect of the game, they hitched their tails to sampras/agassi/capriati/davenport/williams and the like. now that the top players aren't american . . . well, they can't exactly try the 'global' strategy now, can they? after they spent all these years ignoring the rest of the world.

drgnpride
05-31-2007, 06:13 PM
I don't remember this to be so, and tennis was much more popular back in the eighties and early nineties. If it wasn't always this way, then why would they think it will help tennis popularity? It seems backwards.

yes and it suxx, i had week off from work and thought i would watch matches, on monday roddick match was played 5 times on espn and tc, today it was all serena, all the time.

zapvor
05-31-2007, 09:46 PM
i think...if TW pooled resources together and started their own channel, and let us decide programming, it will be the most outstanding tennis channel ever

Rhino
06-01-2007, 01:03 AM
They should change the name of this website to 'Talk TV Coverage'.