Is the Tennis Channel losing money?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tacou, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    I remember hearing some legal rumblings a few months ago, that they weren't included in basic sports packages or something..

    Anyways, I had TTC for awhile, moved and lost it, and just got it again for this season. Needless to say, I am already disappointed.

    I got TTC specifically for Hopman Cup, which they used to air all week, in full, live. So far it has been broadcast sporadically and on delay. No Brisbane or Chennai for men (maybe he semis?) and the WTA matches are also on delay.

    Why is TTC coverage diminishing instead of expanding? For what purpose is TTC airing tennis on delays? There has been live coverage of Doha so airing live tennis isn't the problem per say...
     
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  2. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    My provider stopped carrying TTC because of money issues, so that channel has become totally useless to me. (And it's not like I could easily solve the problem by switching to another provider. Several providers in my area dropped the channel for the same reason)
     
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  3. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    It's losing money because of the defensive style of play of today's tennis. See AO2012.
     
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  4. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    what the hell how does that have anything to do with this? are you trying to start a who's greater nadal or federer war?
    On topic
    I lost TTC like 2 years ago but i use espn 3 and lsh
     
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  5. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    They are the worst with the worst commentators, they should be losing money imo. ESPN blows them away on every level.
     
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  6. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

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    They might not be able to afford playing 4 tournaments simultaneously. As such, only showing Doha for ATP and Brisbane for WTA.
     
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  7. beast of mallorca

    beast of mallorca Legend

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    Unfortunately, tennis is not ESPN's priority. At most, they will show the SF/F of a Masters 1000. Better to have 1 or 2 tournaments in TTC than none at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  8. Hodgey20

    Hodgey20 Rookie

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    I hope not... I like some of their shows like best of five and tennisography. Have to agree that espn broadcasts are better mainly because of commentary
     
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  9. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    TC has far too many worthless shows such as Destination Tennis and Fit to Hit in 60. They also need to can Justin Gimelstob and get him off the air. More live tennis is something else they need to work on.
     
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  10. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    There's no way to air Doha, Brisbane, Hopman Cup & Chennai all live at the same time since many of those matches at different events are being played at the same time. so some are live, some are on tape delay.

    2 ladies Brisbane QF's were aired live yesterday, while there was live tennis going on at Hopman.

    Ditto with Doha & some Hopman & Brisbane matches.

    never ceases to amaze me what fans complain about. In the 90s, not one second of any of these events(nor the majority of all events on tour) was aired on US televison.
     
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  11. Onehandedbackhand

    Onehandedbackhand Professional

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    Too many players need Fit to Hit badly.
     
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  12. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Ok then they need a new host. Danielle Whatsherface sucks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  13. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    exactly. If one really needs to watch all of these small tourneys then you could always buy Tennistv online. It's incredibly expensive to produce live TV. I'd suspect it's even more difficult to do that on TC's budget. Even if they aren't producing and licensing the video feed themselves, but rather paying for one from another country's broadcasting company. I suspect they do that a lot - esp with the European or Asian tourneys. Obviously their production budget is very slight, but the only thing that I'm somewhat surprised about is to why TC can't come to some sort of an agreement with one of the European broadcasting companies to where they'd exchange feeds from some American tourneys they produce for some of the smaller European or Asian tourneys that TC wouldn't ordinarily broadcast. Perhaps they can, but maybe they aren't making enough ad revenue/ratings wise on those smaller tourneys to cover their cost to pay for the video feed, and then pay to have a couple commentators in studio and then pay some PAs.

    My only real complaint would be that I'd like to see some type of studio show. Something of a tennis equivalent of what one would see on say Baseball Tonight Even if just once a week on a Sunday night or something during a week where there isn't a bigger tourney. Some highlight and analysis type show. Just an alternative to the basic fluff stories that the ATP World Tour Uncovered show rolls out.
     
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  14. GoodVibrations

    GoodVibrations Rookie

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    Don't know if they're in dire straits but I can tell you they play endless Garnier hair product commercials, I think they're like their one sponsor.

    I don't know if this would help their financial situation, but I wish they'd axe all the programs no one watches and put the production money (all $100 of it, lol) towards one actually good original-programming show. I guess they try with Tennisography... anyway, I complain but I'd be sad if the channel went kaput.
     
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  15. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    haha yeah that and that debt consolidation company that if you flip through the sports channels you can often see it running at the same time across Tennis Channel, NHL Network and MLB Network at exactly the same time during late afternoon. They must buy ad blocks across those channels at the same hour.
     
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  16. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Time in Doha and Australia are not at all the same. Doha is live, while most of the AO tournaments are on delay for no reason. The mena's AO matches are not broadcast at all, and the Hopman Cup matches are being aired on select days, not at all on others.

    I am loving the Doha coverage, but just concerned that the channel is relinquishing/exchanging live coverage instead of expanding. Considering I have around 5 ESPN channels in my sports package, it is not unrealistic too expect a tennis channel to air live tennis all day...if there is live tennis on all day.
     
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  17. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    yes it is woefully unreasonable. Though not more so than comparing a giant corporation like ESPN to a small independently owned company like TC. For starters, ESPN has full cable clearance on basic packages. Until recently, only DirectTv offered full clearance. TC was being strong-armed by Comcast because Comcast owns both the Golf Channel and NBC Sports Channel/Versus. BTW neither of those channels banks revenue according to the Sports Business Journal. So with golf and hockey being more popular than tennis in the US you can easily discern TC isn't making any coin either. Do you really think ESPN makes any money off of tennis? No. It's there because they need programming to fill their networks. If it made money, A) a major wouldn't be on ESPN2 while ESPN shows reruns of Sportscenter...and B) it's coverage of it's other tourneys wouldn't often be on tape delay - getting bumped for women's college and pro basketball games.

    So if the Sports Business Journal is to be believed, TC brought in around $100M last year.....aaaaannnd they didn't turn a profit.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/fans_grand_slam_rWnn7Pa31cgOSNGPPK8zGK

    Tennis Channel’s annual revenue is around $100 million and it is close to being profitable, insiders said.

    Its (TC's) owners shopped the channel two to three years ago, but found no takers, in part because of its small distribution, sources said

    now that that TC won it's lawsuit against Comcast for discrimination and what should entail a subsequent payoff, they should be able to sell it to one of the cable companies eventually. That could be good or bad programming wise. If a cable giant buys it for a vanity project and is willing to put money back into it, it will be good. If profitability is paramount then things will probably remain status quo. BTW fun fact. It appears both Agassi and Sampras are investors with TC.
     
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  18. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Really? I was gripped to my seat for 6 riveting hours!
     
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  19. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    $130 seems a little steep just for the tennis channel online... maybe that's why they are struggling. Then again if they had good broadcasting & lessons etc....

    How much is it on a network tv package (or sports add on?)

    https://secure.tennistv.com/buy
     
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  20. marc45

    marc45 Legend

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    no, he's talking about tennis channel on tv not the on-line tennis tv...i think you're confused or maybe i just misread your post ( and 130 is way too much) ...haven't had tc since 11 us open..miss it badly, had it nearly since beginning...can't do satellite right now, so everything on-line with shaky streaming often or run over to mom's house nearby who has time warner who still carries...have complained numerous times to tc and my cable company to settle it...but it seems like it will never happen
     
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  21. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks... yes I understood that the original post was about actual TV vs online. I was curious as to what others had used. I just checked the tennis channel & they want $85 for the tennis channel for 12 months on your iPhone... the ball would be pretty small ;-)

    http://www.tennischannel.com/
     
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  22. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    This,

    I mean, player bios are cool and all but ho honestly, when there isnt live match play or a replay of a match I wasnt able to see earlier, then I have no reason to be watching.

    On another note, Destination Tennis actually came to my town once! They showed the clay courts at the cape may tennis club. So, that was cool.
     
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  23. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I enjoy Tennis Channel's commentators over ESPN's. With the exception of Cahill, I find the ESPN regulars (Gilbert, McEnroe (both), etc.) stale & think its time for some new blood over there.

    Maybe its the accents?
     
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  24. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I can't speak for TC, but I do know I cannot stand BG and Pam Shriver. Chris Evert pisses me off these days as well. She makes too many excuses for the players, and she openly states bias on TELEVISION no less, most times stating she wants Federer to win. You can't be at that kind of stuff. It even annoys me and I'm a Federer fan. Brad Gilbert knows his tennis, but he tries to make nicknames for everyone, and it's incredibly corny. Chris Fowler is not bad, but he comes up with too many crazy theories for my liking.

    The ones I can say I like are Cahill, MJF, Drysdale, Chris McKendry (can't remember if she's a regular or just for the AO), and the two McEnroes.

    Although I have heard Gimelstob's commentary, and he's an idiot. I've never had TC so maybe I haven't gotten used to them. I might like them if I did.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  25. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Maybe TennisWarehouse should start a streaming channel(s). :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  26. PeteD

    PeteD Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty happy with Tennis Channel. I have them with a "medium" cable package but I thought TC should be on basic cable now, according to the deal they made.

    Right now is probably the most difficult time for a network to try to cover the matches live, with several smaller tourneys going on literally at the ends of the earth.

    Last year when Tennis Channel went dark for a few months, now that was bad. The big nets cover little and often on delay.

    As for the announcers, I am relatively happy with TC's team. They don't jabber nonstop as much as the major net announcers. Justin G, not sure why he rubs some people the wrong way, he was a high ranked player not that long ago and he sees some very interesting stuff. Destination Tennis, well somebody's gotta pay bills.
     
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  27. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Woefully unreasonable?

    TTC and ESPN are obviously not financially comparable, I just meant that ESPN has several specialized channels like ESPN U and ESPN News, while the tennis "specialty" channel has seen its live tennis programming diminish rather than increase.

    My main point is they are airing delayed matches which they could be airing live, but are not. It's not like this is NBC where they are preempting coverage to air other programs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  28. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I believe its Daniell Needsarod :)
     
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  29. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    again it's wildly expensive to produce live TV. I don't know about TC's licensing, talent/PA cost, and production equipment, but on average a live network production runs $3,250 to $6,525 to produce one minute of live TV. And these aren't domestic tourneys so the cost is going to be even higher. If TC didn't turn a profit last year when they had their largest clearance of viewers, then it's pretty safe to say it's likely TC has never turned a profit. It's simply not cost effective for them to produce live TV from a small foreign tourney that the average tennis fan doesn't even care about. Getting Hopman and Doha is more than enough coverage and they are running QF & SF coverage of the other two tourneys starting today.

    Maybe if TC and ATP/WTA had some sort of partnership things would be different. As it is, TC is an independently owned company with private investors. Considering the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB Networks have partnerships with their leagues and TC does not, it seems to me their coverage is pretty great all things considered. The NFL Network has one game per week. MLB and NHL Networks air appx 3-4 games per week each. And neither of them produce their own games. They use the feeds from CBC or the American regional sports networks. I don't follow golf or the NBA so I have no idea how many games/tourneys they air. So in comparison the coverage TC provides is pretty great in terms of the sheer amount of tennis they air.
     
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  30. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    I hope so. I have never gotten TTC because it's always in some $100/month cable package. I refuse to pay that much for television. Plus, when I've been someplace that has TTC I've always been disappointed in the product.
     
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  31. fedfan46

    fedfan46 Rookie

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    But the announcers ESPN has are ridiculously good: McEnroes, Evert, Gilbert, Drysdale, Fowler, Storm, etc. I look forward to tennis so much more on ESPN than Tennis Channel.
     
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  32. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Great post. We get so much tennis, most of it live and in HD.

    Tennis Channel is far from perfect - but it's come a long way - remember the racquetball and replays of the same ancient matches in the early days.

    And no, it can't compete and outbid ESPN to get exclusive coverage of the biggest events. The Doha coverage with Lester and Koenig's commentary has been excellent. Doha was the best of the 3 ATP tournaments - Hopman is a non-sanctioned, glorified exo! - so I'm very happy with their choice.
     
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  33. firefox

    firefox Semi-Pro

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    Budget cuts gotta hurt! They got rid of Cari Champion and Angela Sun, instead we have new plain Janes and that weatherman Jonathan from Bachelor Pad.
     
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  34. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    My favorites are Gilbert and Cahill, so it's ESPN all the way for me.
     
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  35. Ess

    Ess Guest

    Could not agree more. Plus the "Fit to Hit in 60," is driving me nuts. I have seen the same bloody one a million times! Just show me tennis please. That is what I pay for. No tears will be shed if I never see these two shows again.
     
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  36. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    this too....I was awake at 6am est this morning, and they had live brisbane matches( womens) before switching to live Doha.

    that said, they havent been showing the mens brisbane matches but perhaps we shall have at least a repear airing of the final this weekend
     
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  37. marc45

    marc45 Legend

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    didn't know about the iphone thing (don't have one), thanks... but too expensive for me for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
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  38. marc45

    marc45 Legend

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    don't know if you heard him when he started, but he was horrendous...non-stop in-your-face announcing...he has calmed down and gotten better
     
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  39. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    yes the women's Brisbane coverage has been decent. what confuses me is some of them are live, and others are on delay, even though the ones on delay could be aired live. I just don't understand the mechanics of airing which events when.

    I am LOVING the Doha coverage though, I've watched almost every match this week (the pleasures of working from home).

    However, to restate: Perth and Doha are 5 hours apart and I do not think Hopman Cup and Doha overlap at all
     
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  40. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Exactly. I wonder how much money TC wastes on these two worthless shows that could be going toward broadcasting live tennis? If they can force Danielle whatsherface's "Fit Ta Hit N' 60" on us, and Mayleen Ramey's silly travel show on us, they can surely invest in more live tennis and commentating that does NOT include the likes of Justin Gimelmakeitstop.
     
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  41. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    How does Tennis Channel make money?

    Does tennis channel make all it's money from advertising? I would have thought $100M is fantastic!
     
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  42. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    the majority comes from ad revenue, yes. I know we joked about TC only having a couple advertisers earlier in the thread, but in reality they do have a couple lucrative advertisers. Mercedes and Longines among them. Probably the result of among the sports networks in the US, TC (perhaps not surprisingly) has the highest annual income at around $223K per year for the average viewer. I think we're fully aware that their coverage of the majors is really their only key earning potential as far as ratings go. And of course, TC is a private company. When the MLB Network began, every MLB franchise ponied up $1M each on top of the league and it's other investors. I have no idea if the ATP/WTA are investors, but from what it seems from the Sports Business Journal, it's investors are predominantly venture capital groups and some other private investors like Sampras and Agassi which now explains why both are so willing to do frequent interviews and recurring appearances iin obvious non-payment roles. BTW according tg SBJ MLB Network allegedly brings in around $225M per year. And they don't produce games live. They use regional network feeds which they may not have to even pay for. So $100M may seem like a lot, but then you start factoring in all of the production costs of their live coverage, whatever it is they're paying for feeds from other tourneys, paying all of the commentators their salary and all the travel they pay out for all of their talent and production assistants and the directors and producers, equipment, and their studio facilities, it doesn't surprise me in the least that they haven't turned a profit. Once all of this mess they've had with Comcast last year is taken care of, don't be surprised when you hear TC is back on the market for sale. They've already dropped hints as to such dating back to last June.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
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  43. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    That's funny that a channel that is dedicated to just providing one thing can't even provide it. That's almost like opening up a seafood restaurant but not having shrimp on any of the dishes. Those tournaments should all be broadcasted live. They don't need to prioritize like ESPN does where other sports are coming in at the same time or they need to spread the broadcasts with their full range of viewers who aren't just "tennis" crowd. When you subscribe to TTC, you are there for a reason and they should broadcast everything they can, they only have that one sport to focus on and they know their audience and what they tune in for, regardless if it's a high or low profile event, it should be made available to all of its viewers. Maybe they started to go down ever since they hired Justin Gimelstob and the Jensen brothers.
     
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  44. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    This is a great post. Really well written, you are not a typical TT poster.
     
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  45. Vanhool

    Vanhool Hall of Fame

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    I had to upgrade 2 package levels to get TC on Dish satellite. I think it's ridiculous that you have to get a premium package for such a low budget offering. I guess even more ridiculous that I pay for it! What can I say? I loves me some Serena. I want to see every match she has left. Once she retires, I can just watch the slams on espn. I would still miss TC, but not enough to spend all that extra money. As for their programming, things could be better, but I'm still happy I have it. I wish it was included in the sport package. That would be great! Why can't they do that? Anyone know anything about why Dish charges so much for them?
     
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  46. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    If they could somehow get that signal to our Canadian Broadcasters, we could probably BAIL them out! The 5 of us would definitely step up to the plate! I love watching Tennis Channel whenever I'm STATES side! :)
     
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  47. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    It's the CRTC (Canadian radio and broadcasting Corporation) that controls Canadian broadcasting and they will not allow TC to be in Canada perhaps because of pressure from TSN and sportsnetwork and RDS who don't want the competion. I investigated the TC thing several years ago and I presume nothing has changed.
     
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  48. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    They fired her? I thought she left for a better gig. She's on First Take on ESPN2 - even with Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless, on their worst ratings day she's probably seen by 10x the number of people who saw her on TC.
     
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  49. Jim25

    Jim25 New User

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    Tennis Channel negatives

    *Limited WTA coverage (understandable given their resources, but I'm hoping that this changes if they end up winning the Comcast dispute)

    *Corny commercial commentator (I'm really hoping they switch to someone who sounds less cartoony)

    Tennis Channel positives

    *Solid, steady focus on what matters most -- match coverage. ESPN spends way too much time showing commentators while tennis is being played. They'll even interrupt matches (often after a commercial break) to show people talking in a studio, which is ridiculous.

    Good point. If TC wins the Comcast battle and gets on basic cable, that should make tennis more accessible on television than ever before.

    And those "Fit to Hit in 60" segements were likely filmed years ago, so they're not an issue. Besides, Danilelle is charming.
     
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  50. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    If I could buy just a monitor feed like at the live tournaments with no "commentator" I would gladly play for it per event!

    That one of the main reason I go to the live tournaments is to avoid the constant chatter during the points.

    I do like to set in a bar and watch the action through the monitors too.

    Hopefully, TC will get rid of all their commentators and just air the match!
     
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