PDA

View Full Version : Patrick McEnroe's opinion of Espn


Kevin Patrick
05-03-2005, 12:05 PM
X: Since you keep up with the tennis media, and you realize the broadcasts and media coverage drive the popularity of tennis, what do you think is being done well out there, and what do you think could be improved with the media and tennis?

P-Mac: Well I think that first of all I have to say, and I've criticized my own employers at ESPN in the past for certain production or certain programming decisions, I think we all know what those problems are. I think they've sort of gotten the message. I think the Australian Open (coverage) was the result of ESPN making a lot of good decisions, and the bottom line is that we in the tennis world shouldn't necessarily bite the hand that feeds us. ESPN is covering an incredible amount of tennis, they're putting on way more hours than anyone else, and they're committed to tennis. Mark Shapiro, who's the head of programming at ESPN, is a huge tennis fan, and is very supportive of the game. Look, obviously they're going to show the American stars, when the American stars are playing in an important match. They do that in any country. We sort of have this impression that in other countries they show 'The Game' in how it should really be presented -- they all show their stars. I think ESPN did a very good job at the Australian of...showing the Roddicks obviously and the Williams sisters, etcetera, but they're also showing great tennis. There's obviously that fine line, Richard, between catering to the tennis fan and then catering to the sports fan, and the sports fan might not be into (Gaston) Gaudio vs. (Guillermo) Coria at 4-all in the fifth. I am, but when you're talking about getting more eyeballs to watch the television sets, that is what ESPN is trying to do. They're trying to get more people watching tennis, so I think we should thank them for doing that, while at the same time saying 'hey' -- you know sometimes I get just as frustrated as all of you do about some of the decisions, but overall, ESPN has put their money where their mouth is, they're committed to tennis.

http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2005-04-29/c.php

Jet Rink
05-03-2005, 12:09 PM
Glad to get in early on this one.

I think Pat's comments are quite accurate and fair. It's going to take more eyeballs to change the dynamic. And we're the core, here.

Jet

Jonas
05-03-2005, 12:13 PM
I agree, and appreciate espn's tons of coverage. I am often upset when they don't go out to court 15 where JCF and Mantilla are battling it out at 3 all in the 5th, but as p-mac said they do show an awful lot of tennis. I don't have the tennis channel so I guess beggers can't be choosers?

Cfidave
05-03-2005, 01:00 PM
Unfortunately, ESPN is the only game in town, when it comes to tennis. I can't get the tennis channel, and no other network is serious about tennis coverage. I would like to see TTC avialable to more people( Direct TV, DishNetwork), and then would like to see ESPN get out of tennis completely. They can show poker and womens arm wrestling, and girls softball, and all that other crap. Their decisions on match coverage mostly sucks. How many times can you watch Venus Williams or Andy Roddick win first round matches in 45 minutes, and then get a rerun of it while good live tennis is being played. If TTC can get better distribution, tennis fans will be in for a treat.

Matt H.
05-03-2005, 01:11 PM
speaking of the tennis channel....they signed with Comcast, yet i call comcast and they have no future plans to include it in the line-up....they decided the travel channel was better to add right now.

Jet Rink
05-03-2005, 02:07 PM
Unfortunately, ESPN is the only game in town, when it comes to tennis. I can't get the tennis channel, and no other network is serious about tennis coverage. I would like to see TTC avialable to more people( Direct TV, DishNetwork), and then would like to see ESPN get out of tennis completely. They can show poker and womens arm wrestling, and girls softball, and all that other crap. Their decisions on match coverage mostly sucks. How many times can you watch Venus Williams or Andy Roddick win first round matches in 45 minutes, and then get a rerun of it while good live tennis is being played. If TTC can get better distribution, tennis fans will be in for a treat.

Very good observations, though I'd rather they don't get out of the sport completely. Remember, from a programming standpoint, they are one of a very few that can stay with a match and not have to cut away or run interminable tape due to time constraints or programming conflicts. Plus, since they are 24 hours, they can do most everything live.

Watching Roddick and the Williams sisters gets really tiresome though and I agree that they rely way too much on "homegrown" talent.

Re: TTC - I, once a month, make a call and send an e-mail to DishNetwork "reminding" them that there is this thing called The Tennis Chananel. Maybe we can affect change en masse?? :)

Jet

Kaptain Karl
05-03-2005, 02:39 PM
PMac was pretty balanced, IMO. Let's keep being "squeaky wheels" without being jerks to ESPN....

- KK

Thomas
05-03-2005, 02:55 PM
I wish they would stop showing something like "Championship Scrabble" when plenty of people would like to watch Federer and other top players play.

scoot
05-03-2005, 03:13 PM
ESPN coverage of tennis is absolute crap. They've made some absolutely absurd decisions like replaying the same awful routs involving Roddick, Williams, or sharpy even MULTIPLE times in the span of two days even when there are other live matches available to be shown!

arodnadal
05-03-2005, 03:30 PM
i think espn does a fine job compared to 3-5 years ago

West Coast Ace
05-03-2005, 04:46 PM
ESPN coverage of tennis is absolute crap. They've made some absolutely absurd decisions like replaying the same awful routs involving Roddick, Williams, or sharpy even MULTIPLE times in the span of two days even when there are other live matches available to be shown!Finally someone got it right. Patrick is dead wrong. Showing the stars beating down nobodies is not going to 'grow' the sport. It will leave the casual viewer with the impression that there are no great matches. Showing exciting matches will. Patrick is just being the little Politically Correct wuss that he is. If he were a MAN he'd say ESPN sucks, quit, and work to get the best possible coverage.

As far as 'being jerks to ESPN', why not? Will they throw a tantrum and drop all coverage? That might be the best thing for all concerned. They could show more of their silly reality shows and maybe a real channel would pick up the rights and work out deals with ALL the cable and satellite systems.

Kaptain Karl
05-03-2005, 04:51 PM
^^ Someone hasn't been paying attention. ^^

- KK

West Coast Ace
05-03-2005, 04:57 PM
Sorry, Karl. I live by the mantra "you deserve what you accept." Sending nice little emails to ESPN isn't going to get any effective change. But knock yourself out.

nkhera1
05-03-2005, 05:16 PM
I wish they would show tennis over bowling, poker, and fishing.

Marius_Hancu
05-03-2005, 06:20 PM
PMac is as usual in conflict of interest:-)

YEMntFtb
05-03-2005, 06:40 PM
I got a copy of the Fed/Safin match from 2005 Aussie Open broadcasted on Euro Sport, and the commentary is much better then ESPN. It was a nice change, I'm totally sick of the same ESPN stuff. Tennis Channel covers almost everything, get it, the commentary is terrible, but the tennis is good because they don't focus on Roddick playing nobody, they just show the good match ups.

Redflea
05-03-2005, 07:43 PM
No way...gotta keep the bowling too, and curling. Seriously...there is no curling channel to fall back on. :-)

Kaptain Karl
05-03-2005, 08:08 PM
Sorry, Karl. I live by the mantra "you deserve what you accept." Sending nice little emails to ESPN isn't going to get any effective change. But knock yourself out.Still not paying attention, are you? I didn't suggest "accepting" ESPNs fare. I recommended taking action without acting like a jerk about it to them.

There is a difference.

- KK

Ben42
05-04-2005, 06:46 AM
Every Monday when I read the sports section of the paper I see the weekend’s tv ratings. When there is Tennis on ESPN it doesn’t even show up. Arena football does better for ratings.

But ESPN continues to show tennis because they can still sell advertising. They can sell advertising because, in general, Tennis fans are able to buy more expensive things than Arena Football fans.

But ESPN is not in the business of “growing the sport.” They are in business to make money, and as soon as they can’t make money on Tennis, they will stop showing it.

We have to face the facts that the Williams sisters, Roddick, and Agassi draw more viewers, so ESPN will show them as much as possible.

That doesn’t mean I don’t wish we could all see better matches and not see repeats of something we TIVO’d already. But I do understand it.

amarone
05-04-2005, 08:56 AM
speaking of the tennis channel....they signed with Comcast, yet i call comcast and they have no future plans to include it in the line-up....they decided the travel channel was better to add right now.
Comcast obviously does different things in different areas because I get TTC on Comcast in Atlanta.

suk98009
05-04-2005, 09:54 AM
Patrick sounds like the politician he has to be. Getting in what seems like a few jabs while making sure that ESPN doesn't think he is "biting the hand that feeds him". Tennis is not easy to market, especially in the US where things like footballl and basketball reign supreme. I don't think it really excuses ESPN from showing repeats of blowouts of top players (woman more often than men) than what is actually playing. Or the instant classics that they think they have anytime a match between top 5 womens players goes 3 sets. What a laugh. I think in general that the coverage of tennis is a joke. The tennis channel is a nice addition but from my experience if the tourney is not something small and with a lot less prize money and prestige you can throw the doubles out the window. Which makes me laugh since they love to throw around the comment that the have shown more doubles in the last year than all other networks in the last 10, or however that goes. That's wonderful but where are the doubles matches from Monte Carlo or this weeks Italian, or even Estoril, etc? I mean, at least give us the semis or finals or something.

Gemini
05-04-2005, 10:19 AM
Matt H.,

I live in Atlanta as well and have TTC, but it's part of Comcast's digital package in my area of the city. It's an additional $5 a month on top of my regular digital programming.