ESPN is Letting Go of Most of its ATP Rights Outside of the Slams

kimboslice

New User
I agree this is bad move for the sport in general. Tennis Channel is now going to pimp out their subscriptions to Tennis Channel Plus hard and that will further give less access to this sport that we cherish!
 

TheNachoMan

Hall of Fame
Because someone stated the obvious, that Djokovic isn't as popular as Roger or Rafa? Stating a fact is a far, far cry from living in someone's head. ;) Even the most delusional or optimistic Nole fan knows that he's an unpopular #1 player. Always has been, just like my guy. No shame in being loathed by most people. Ivan embraced it.

He has millions of followers on social media. I don’t think someone unpopular could do that. Sure, Fed and Nadal are more popular. They’ve been around longer, they are more PR friendly and all. Guess that’s why Novak appeals to me
 

FrontHeadlock

Hall of Fame
I guess. I don’t get the obsession tennis fans have with the growth of the sport etc. if they are really paying attention they will see that interest in all sports have declined here over the years(check ratings)
I very much agree with this. In fact, if you are a true fan, there are some significant downsides to growth or even the drive for growth, just ask long-time hardcore fans of the really big sports.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.

Look for most of the M1000 tournaments to move completely over to Tennis Channel. Good deal for Sinclair....Tennis Channel is becoming the hub of the sport in the U.S.

So which path would encourage the sport to grow? Encouraging and enabling your niche audience to consume more tennis or hoping to bring in new fans who catch a random match or two on a broad sports network like ESPN.

Link to the NYT article.


I thought this was Dexter for a second.
 

Tony48

Legend
So TC will allow you to stream outside of your home WiFi network, but not if you have Xfinity. I think the issue is on Comcast’s end.

DirecTV is listed as a supported provider though so I’m not sure why it doesn’t work... do you use the TC app?
OK, I tried the TC app and it works. Thanks.

The TC app hasn’t worked for me in years so I stopped using it. But now it’s working again.

(Just learned that there is a licensing issue with Comcast and there is no option for Comcast login)
 

fedfan08

Professional
Hopefully ESPN will allow some of their talent to also commentate for Tennis Channel. And I hope this means Tennis Channel will send crews to cover tournaments rather than doing commentary from the TC studios.

Lots of sports budgets are being cut. NBC, which owns Golf Channel, is moving it’s headquarters from Orlando Florida to the NBC Sports studio in Connecticut. I‘ll bet a lot of the current on-air talent gets cut and replaced with generic NBC sports broadcasters.
 

topher

Professional
USO is paying big bucks to broadcast the slams(it’s the only reason the USO was held, otherwise USTA would be in red if they held it)

No one cares about non slam events, so no reason for ESPN to keep it.

I’m guessing Sampras was before your time, he sure as hell didn’t help grow interest in the sport in the US when he was #1. All the media ever talked about here was how boring he was(they even had a SI magazine cover “is tennis dying?” when he was dominating) and his major finals got poor ratings unless he was playing Agassi.

And he didn’t grow attendance either, look at how sparse crowds were at many of his USO matches compared to Fed and Nadal.
A US personality like Sampras would be more popular now as the #1. Pete had very tough acts to follow personality wise in Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, etc. Plus he dominated too easily as his “rival” in Agassi just couldn’t step up to the plate. Likely the thought among Americans was they’d choose or wait for another American ATG to show up or Agassi to win some more, whereas now there is no such option.

Nowadays a journeyman who doesn’t even like tennis can dominate tennis journalism with some passive aggressive tweets. It is a different time. I think any men’s American champion would be a draw.
 

18x20 ftw

Rookie
A US personality like Sampras would be more popular now as the #1. Pete had very tough acts to follow personality wise in Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, etc. Plus he dominated too easily as his “rival” in Agassi just couldn’t step up to the plate. Likely the thought among Americans was they’d choose or wait for another American ATG to show up or Agassi to win some more, whereas now there is no such option.

Nowadays a journeyman who doesn’t even like tennis can dominate tennis journalism with some passive aggressive tweets. It is a different time. I think any men’s American champion would be a draw.
Exactly. Also think about the overall timeframe when Sampras was #1, the US had precisely the run of American champs you state. Everyone thought the next megastar was coming down the pike, but one never really did. League play, local facilities, etc have dropped off in this part of the country.

I distinctly remember when Tiger Woods came to be, golf felt an explosion. I’m not saying it was necessarily great for all golf fans, but access to the game definitely grew - they were building golf courses left and right. If things progress this way for years to come I’m afraid the local tennis facilities (particularly the public ones) will eventually be turned into skateboard parks.
 

18x20 ftw

Rookie
USO is paying big bucks to broadcast the slams(it’s the only reason the USO was held, otherwise USTA would be in red if they held it)

No one cares about non slam events, so no reason for ESPN to keep it.

I’m guessing Sampras was before your time, he sure as hell didn’t help grow interest in the sport in the US when he was #1. All the media ever talked about here was how boring he was(they even had a SI magazine cover “is tennis dying?” when he was dominating) and his major finals got poor ratings unless he was playing Agassi.

And he didn’t grow attendance either, look at how sparse crowds were at many of his USO matches compared to Fed and Nadal.
Fair enough. Would the qualification to my previous statement to include an American #1 male with general-audience appeal suffice to make my statement worthy of your approval?
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Exactly. Also think about the overall timeframe when Sampras was #1, the US had precisely the run of American champs you state. Everyone thought the next megastar was coming down the pike, but one never really did. League play, local facilities, etc have dropped off in this part of the country.

I distinctly remember when Tiger Woods came to be, golf felt an explosion. I’m not saying it was necessarily great for all golf fans, but access to the game definitely grew - they were building golf courses left and right. If things progress this way for years to come I’m afraid the local tennis facilities (particularly the public ones) will eventually be turned into skateboard parks.
Nothing wrong with skateboard parks.
 
I very much agree with this. In fact, if you are a true fan, there are some significant downsides to growth or even the drive for growth, just ask long-time hardcore fans of the really big sports.
True but the NBA, NFL, NHL & MLB have much larger fanbases so they can handle drop offs in viewership/ticket sales better. Tennis, at least in the US, doesn’t have the same luxury.

The Big 3 have sustained the sport for 15 yrs. Fed has a yr left. Nadal maybe a few. After that, I’m not sure what option the ATP has but to to grow interest.
 

Zetty

Hall of Fame
I mean all sports except for futbol and football are starting to look niche. It makes sense, they can concentrate more on making better broadcasts and getting announcers that know what they're talking about.
 

Djokodal Fan

Hall of Fame
No top US athlete on the men's side. The viewership is on perennial decline. It doesn't matter Whether Rog or Nadal plays. Last year's USopen final with Nadal had such poor TV ratings. It's understandable.

This year was a bigger disaster
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
Well, YouTube TV just quit having Tennis Channel. I'll cancel it now.
Yep, I was just about to say the same thing. One less place to be able to see tennis. This is the second time I've had to switch providers to get the Tennis Channel. Dish Network also dropped the Tennis Channel a few years back and I had to switch to Comcast plus pay for an extra bundle to get it back. I specifically chose Youtube TV because they were the only non-cable/non-satellite provider that had TC when I "cut the cord" a couple years ago. I heard Sling has it, so I guess I'm going there...

Strange, I don't recall the Golf Channel ever getting dumped off of any if the services I've had in the past.
 

Cupcake

Rookie
Well, YouTube TV just quit having Tennis Channel. I'll cancel it now.
I'm planning to do the same thing when the current 'month' is over. I'm afraid it's going to be a scramble to find good tennis to watch the coming year in my area.
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Not a good move.
ESPN has way more resources and quality of analysts/commentators than Tennis channel does.
THe game is declining in the US unfortunately. So sad..
Disagree on quality of analysts. Courier, Annacone, Blake—all excellent.
I would miss BG though. Love him. Maybe TC can bring him aboard.
 

Nate7-5

Semi-Pro
THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW how the Big 3 would fare if ya put em up against THE BEST OF THE BEST in Cornhole
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
As a an approaching 70 yr old who grew up 40 feet from 3 asphalt public park tennis courts and have been swinging a racket for fun since around age 5 I wonder about my tennis viewing pleasure. I quit Youtube TV yesterday opting for a local stream that provides Tennis Channel. I do wonder when they too will be divested of Tennis Channel when Sinclair decides to consolidate "their" sport venues under one venue that maximizes sports betting. If that happens will not pro tennis players be little more than functionaries of betting much like the parimutuel jai alai players?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/techland/sinclair-set-bring-regional-sports-channels-streaming-173615

https://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-sinclair-broadcast-forms-strategic-partnership-ballys-20201119-vy2rd7oqs5hcbfqfdimfk3u2le-story.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/sports/tennis/tennis-channel-atp.html
 
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