Televised College Tennis

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by floridatennisdude, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    10smom brought it up in a different thread, but I thought it was a good enough point that it deserved it's own thread. The televising of this sports is relatively non-existent. This year, I can't even remember if the B1G network had any of their conference matches on air as I recall seeing last year. And the coverage at NCAAs was via web stream, with no audio until the finals.

    Obviously, there has to be an issue with paying for it. I don't see how it is feasible for a sport that has relatively small crowds, relatively low budgets for the teams themselves, and not a lot of sponsors willing to pick up the tab.

    I have heard that Florida actually has to pay the Sun Sports network a lot (I'm thinking like 5k per match) to get them to come out and cover non revenue sports. And those are done with 3 cameras and 2 on air personalities. With a sport that has matches that can be 5 hours long, I'm not sure if it is even remotely possible to get matches televised live.

    So, what are some ideas on how to get tv coverage for college tennis? Where would the funds come from? How would the logistics work? Would the match format have to be altered for time purposes? How could the coverage work to keep it entertaining?

    Interested to hear some ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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  2. kme5150

    kme5150 Rookie

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    Some schools, like Duke, have a pay-per-view type system. You can either pay by the match or for the entire season.

    I would be interested if there was a website that would have a college section set up to where all the schools could live feed their cameras into their system. Now the problem with that is that it would take a lot of work and all the feeds would have to be done using the same format. This would be an internet thing and not mainstream TV. Due to bandwidth there would have to be a monthly fee.

    It will take money from the USTA to make this happen. There are only a handful of schools that would be willing to spend the money to fund this at their schools.

    If you can show enough bandwidth use then you could show the networks and sponsors that there is a demand for it on TV.
     
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  3. The Wreck

    The Wreck Semi-Pro

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    That's a tough one. I guess some college tennis is better than none, but to be honest, I don't even like trying to watch it on TV. Every time I've watched the Finals on tv in years past, or during the live stream of the final this year, I was more frustrated than anything. There's just no compelling way to cover six matches at one time that all have their own story lines, pace of play, ups and downs through the match. Each match is just as important to winning as another. So focusing on the #1 match the whole time isn't satisfying most of the time. But jumping around and never getting a sense for what's going on in any match is annoying too.
     
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  4. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Florida coach Thornqvist noted that one thing he wants to change in college tennis is to have it on TV.
    Reading that article got me started thinking the same way.

    I think tennis channel can do this. Might be for the championship matches to begin with. They can get commercial sponsors. Having college tennis on TV will also expand audience demographically. Think about parents and juniors now watching college tennis. They are target consumers for lots and lots of commercial products and services.
    If there are needs from TV audience, commercial ads revenue should cover the cost.
    Tennis recruiting network website's major revenue had shifted from membership fee to selling ads now. The reason was because lots and lots of parents, juniors and coaches visit the site.
    I will try to start a poll in junior forum to see if people wants to see college tennis on TV.

    Here is Coach Thornqvist interview article.
    http://www.tennisrecruiting.net/article.asp?id=1451
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
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  5. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    DirecTV does the multiple channel coverage of the majors. It has one channel that allows the viewer to see 6 matches at once. You can then choose to go to a separate channel to watch a match of interest.

    Probably not feasible to have 6 camera crews and 6 sets of commentators, but maybe they could have just the main channel with fixed web cam type coverage and 1 commentator group that highlight important happenings. Maybe that would be a logistics solution and they could start after doubles to save an hour and a half of air time.
     
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  6. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Some of the webcam streams I have watched have been really lame, they have to at least make it watchable.
     
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  7. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    Great points. I would watch collegiate tennis all the time (have watched it twice in person).
     
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  8. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Hi folks,

    I started a poll thread on televised college tennis in Junior League and Tournament talk forum.

    Please take a little time to visit the junior section and cast your vote.

    I plan to attach the survey with a request to Tennis Channel and ESPN and ??? to consider adding college tennis matches to their programs.

    Any suggestions on how to make this happen will also be appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
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  9. WARPWOODIE

    WARPWOODIE Rookie

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    Some schools like Stanford have live webcam (would love to know any other schools as well) of all their courts. As for televised coverage,...well, the tennis Channel should do this (coverage) along with Big Junior events like the Easter & Orange Bowls, Kalamazoo, Les Petits, Junior Grandslams.
     
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  10. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I am willing to bet that the only reason TTC doesn't televise amateur tennis is sponsorships. It isn't free for them to invest in equipment and personnel to do the work. I don't know how you find funding for it. Maybe ITA indoors would be a start for them to see if schools would be willing to pay addtl to enter with coverage being included.

    The media business is really cut throat. If there aren't advertisers, it doesn't get covered.
     
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  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    You should come down for the summer tournaments at Bloomington.
     
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  12. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I would love to watch college tennis on TV. Certainly more attractive than some things on the air already, like World Team Tennis.

    I think having too many regular matches would be overkill, but having the national indoors or end of the year championships would be good places to start.
     
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  13. theSportsGuru1117

    theSportsGuru1117 New User

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    College tennis isn't getting put on TV because the format is so dang long! What television network wants to commit upwards of 5+ hours to covering a college tennis match? I absolutely agree that college tennis needs to be on TV, because it is incredibly entertaining, extremely high level, and promotes school pride. However, the NCAA needs to look into shortening the format in order to make it more TV friendly. Maybe playing 4 singles matches and 2 doubles matches at the same time?? That way, since most of the college tennis facilities have six courts, they could use all the courts. Then, for a tiebreaker, each team selects one guy to play a 10-point tiebreaker for the match. What do you think?
     
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  14. Towerofpower205

    Towerofpower205 Rookie

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    That is honestly one of the worst ideas of all times.
     
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  15. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Horrible idea. I think if they just skip the doubles and tape delay the whole thing you can cram it into 2 hours. Show highlights of how you got to a certain point and let it play out.
     
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  16. Satsuma Illini

    Satsuma Illini Semi-Pro

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    Of course live is better, but NBC just finished tape-delaying the entire Olympics and while it was not a popular decision, I think the reaction would be better for college tennis. Tape all the of the matches and edit it so everyone gets a chance to see the best doubles match and then the last one or two deciding singles matches. Build it up from there. More exposure, more fans, more demand and then you can figure out the next step. College tennis has a lot to offer sports fans is it is presented right.
     
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  17. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    While I would love to see college tennis on TV, it's never going to happen. The format is not TV friendly as others have mentioned. Aside from that, the viewership numbers would be way too small to be cost effective.
     
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  18. Art Rust Jr

    Art Rust Jr Rookie

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    I have to agree with sundaypunch. I just don't think there is the demand to cover the sport on tv. As for the abridged tape delayed version, maybe on some specialized outlet like the Big 10 network, (which I think they already do for a few matches each year) but I can't see any of the ESPN stations, or even the tennis channel going that way. Tough to compare tape delayed Olympic coverage in prime time on NBC to tape delayed college tennis matches. Two completely different animals.
     
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  19. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I would love it but I just wish we could get livestreams for all the bigger schools so it seems a long way off
     
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  20. 10ismom

    10ismom Semi-Pro

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    Just a followup. I did sent an email to the Tennis Channel, ESPN and DirectTV asking them to consider televising college tennis a while back. Not sure if it had gone to the right persons.

    I still believe there will be tons of viewers if it will ever happen. I'm positive it will attract a lot of new audience that will sure enjoy college tennis.
    Most people in the US enjoy watching sports on TV, so why not college tennis.
     
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