How come they don't play the men's final at night?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by heycal, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    How come the US Open doesn't schedule its men final on Sunday night? (Or the following night in case of rain delays.) Night matches are part of what makes the USO great, and the women's final is played at night. I would think a night final for the men as well might draw more TV viewers/generate more revenue. Given all that, I can really think of no reason it is scheduled in the afternoon.

    Anyone know?
     
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  2. SuperFly

    SuperFly Semi-Pro

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    To appease the tennis fans in other time zones. Which kinda sucks for us.
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It would interfere with "football night in America".
     
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  4. GeorgeLucas

    GeorgeLucas Banned

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    LADY'S NlGHT ADONIS. WORKIN' AFTER HOURS. RIPPLES ON MY CHEST NEVER GOT A NIGHTS REST.
     
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  5. Fee

    Fee Legend

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    They don't play it at night because CBS does not want to pre-empt it's highest rated show, 60 Minutes, for a tennis match.
     
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  6. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I highly doubt that's the reason. Americans aren't known for caring about foreigners. I know I sure don't.

    Not buying this one, either.

    There are must be some strong economic reason benefitting the USTA or the TV network broadcasting the event, or a contractual one, or some logistical problem I'm not aware of.

    The only theory I presently have is that NBC or CBS or whoever owns the final broadcast rights thinks they can make more money from the exisiting Sunday night TV line up than they think they can make from tennis in that time slot.
     
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  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    It's the commitments of advertisers for other shows
     
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  8. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    If "60 Minutes" is so important to CBS, they can show it at 7pm as usual and just play the final at 8pm. Plus, "60 Minutes" ain't on on Mondays, which is when they'd play the final when it's delayed a day.

    And before anyone comes along and says men's tennis matches last too long to start at 8pm, remember that World Series games probably last as long if not longer than the average men's final, and they often don't start until 8:30pm.
     
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  9. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I could believe this if it were a one time thing that came out of nowhere, but you'd think when such things are negotiated years in advance, they could say "by the way, the second Sunday night in September we're gonna show tennis." Plus, the world series and the superbowl pre-empt regular evening broadcasting, so obviously, they've worked around the problem in those cases.
     
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  10. robkat

    robkat Semi-Pro

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    Fee is right on the money on this one.
     
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  11. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    .

    World series and Superbowl don't pre-empt anything because those days are negotiated several years in advance. The issue is sponsors, because the sponsors of the Open are paying for their commercials as I type, during a long rain delay on Saturday. All of the weekend broadcast time IS being used and the sponsors are paying. Those sponsors are not likely to hop on board for ADDITIONAL expensive commercials after Sunday, and the premium commercial spots are already sold by CBS Monday night for its regular programming. (Because of the recession, sponsor revenue is already down this year on TV, and more of the time is being used for network promotional commercials.) And sponsors buy time based on the demographics of the particular programming.
     
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  12. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Note also that the US Open has been a TV ratings catastrophe. If you go to the Nielsen (Nielsen ratings, the standard for US TV viewership ratings) website you'll find that US Open broadcasts have gone from an average of 5.7 percent of US households watching in 1977 to 1.7 percent in 2007. It isn't altogether surprising that a not-so-wealthy Tennis Network managed to get a piece of the pie this year. So tennis doesn't have a whole lot of clout to displace CBS's prime time lineup.
     
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  13. mtommer

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    Baseball is more popular than tennis.

    It's about money. The finals coverage on Sunday was originally scheduled at 4:00 specifically at that time slot so that it would not interfere with NFL games. The ratings for the final is not perceived to be higher than Sunday night television shows. While I suspect the USTA could play the matches, without television broadcasts, they never will. So, when CBS tells the USTA to wait, the USTA is going to wait.
     
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  14. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    If CBS finds tennis such a lame-ass revenue producer, why not just walk away from the sport and let ESPN cover it? I'm sure ESPN would have no problem televising a Sunday night men's final.

    Basically what I'm hearing from you guys is that you believe CBS thinks it's worth showing the men's tennis final at 4pm on a Sunday, and thus is unwilling to dump the sport entirely, but not at 8pm on a Sunday?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
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  15. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea why whatever you're saying here is any different from baseball (other than popularity). Baseball games get rained out too, and I would think even the cloudiest of crystal balls would foretell that there will be men's USO finals every year (provided at least two players can win enough matches in a row to qualify for the final, that is) and thus coverage could be negotiated years in advance just like baseball.
     
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  16. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Coverage IS negotiated years ahead -- for 4PM EDT. It is NOT negotiated for Monday night, thus it does not appear Monday night. Baseball is not covered by networks in prime time competing with more popular fare, a completely different situation. And when a network covers a game that is rained out, they switch to another game. The network is not contracted to cover the game at a later date. (dedicated networks like YES do cover it, but they don't have other more popular programs to pre-empt.)
     
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  17. Lakoste

    Lakoste Professional

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    Since tennis isn't that popular its always better to put it at a time slot where there aren't a lot of competing programs.
    4pm Tennis Final = good ratings
    8pm Tennis Final = bad ratings

    Good ratings mean that more advertisers for next year.

    Get it?
     
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  18. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    I think they should always have a Monday night final. Night matches are great. It is prime time TV. I can't see a downside. Although, they would be up against Monday Night Football rating-wise. (I'd rather watch men's tennis)

    The men get very little rest between the usual semis on Super Saturday and the final on Sunday. And the tennis often suffers as a result.

    It is the end of the season, the top players have a lot of court hours, the men should have a full day off in between the semis and the final.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
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  19. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I still don't know what you are yammering about. And forget the Monday thing -- that's just because of the rainouts. Think Sunday night, ok?

    The Networks do cover playoffs and World Series games at night, and it is competing with popular fare. I don't know why they can't do the same for tennis -- other than because they don't think it's going to draw more viewers than Murphy Brown or whatever. But you seem to be suggesting some inherent and meaningful difference between the scheduling and logistics of broadcasting baseball and tennis, and I just don't see it. The main difference seems to be popularity.

    I'm not convinced at all that a men's final would get better ratings at 4pm on a Sunday than it would at 8pm on a Sunday. Are you? I think it's generally understood that the evening attracts more viewers for most any show, which is probably why they starting scheduling the World Series only at night.

    I think what you meant to say is that it's likely CBS thinks Murphy Brown can draw more viewers than tennis can at 8pm. And maybe it could, but then I just wish CBS would walk away and let ESPN take over so we can have the final at night.

    Get it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    It's only been in recent years that the Women's Final has been played at night. For many years, it was sandwiched between the two men's semis during the day on Super Saturday.
     
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  21. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yup. And it gives the woman's final a bit of pizazz the men's final lacks big time.

    Maybe it's because of the recent match ups, but these Sunday afternoon men's finals always seems a bit anti-climatic after two weeks of exciting night matches. Imagine if someday Nadal and Federer were playing a US Open final -- at night? All sorts of people would tune it for that, and I suspect it would draw more viewers for CBS than the Carol Burnett show.
     
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  22. madmanfool

    madmanfool Semi-Pro

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    I'm not complaining. This way Federer will be on at 9 p.m. while Clijsters was playing at 3 a.m. here in Belgium.
     
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  23. PROTENNIS63

    PROTENNIS63 Hall of Fame

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    I too always wondered why the finals won't be played at night. Definitely a better atmosphere for the players.
     
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  24. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Professional

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    Heycal,

    Its mainly popularity and ratings. Its sad that tennis does not get the ratings but they do not. Therefore the networks see no benefit of not showing a more popular program and get more commercial dollars as a result.

    And most people will watch Football over Tennis any day of the week. so primetime on a sunday night is out. Showing a rainout on a monday night would be even worse.

    I would prefer them play it at night also. but it would not make much sense ratings wise if they did that.
     
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  25. Lakoste

    Lakoste Professional

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    I am. NBC, like any station, is a business which wants to maximize profits. They will put the final at a time slot where the ratings will be highest. They certainly don't want to put it up against a Sunday/Monday night football game.

    I really don't understand why you're having a tough time understanding this, ever take any business or econ courses in college? This is week 1 kind of stuff.
     
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  26. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    So you're saying you believe a 4pm tennis match will draw more TV viewers than an 8pm tennis match?

    I wish we could find a way to wager on this, so you could lose some money despite taking that fancy econ course in college.

    As I explained to you before, there are more TV viewers at night. So just because CBS may think "All in the Family" would draw more viewers at 8pm than would a tennis match at 8pm doesn't also mean that a 4pm tennis match on CBS would draw more viewers than would an 8pm tennis match on CBS.

    Let me run some hypothetical numbers for you to illustrate my point. (Hopefully you also took a math course at the fancy school you went to.)

    "All in the Family" at 8pm - 30 million viewers
    Tennis at 8pm - 20 million viewers
    Tennis at 4pm - 15 million viewers

    Get it?
     
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  27. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Seems to me that the final started in the late afternoon / evening and finished at__________ (5-letter word for time of day. Hint: It is dark at this time).
     
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  28. Lakoste

    Lakoste Professional

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    This thread is asking why NBC won't show the final at night. Put yourself in NBC's shoes. NBC wants the highest ratings possible for that time slot. Using your hypothetical numbers, theres no reason why you'd ever put the final at night. Yes, obviously you could get more viewers for tennis at 8pm than 4pm, but it isn't worth it when the show you're replacing is much more popular. In this instance, football.
     
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  29. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Yup. My theory is that CBS and the USTA got nervous about my rumblings here at TT, and decided to throw me a bone in hopes of preventing further trouble.

    I must say, it sure was nice to see a 'night' men's final. Sweetened the experience of this match considerably.
     
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