Tennis is literally dying. Average age of TV viewers of ATP matches was 61 years

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
Tennis is literally dying. Average age of TV viewers of ATP matches was 61 years
Young people have zero interest in watching tennis.

“The sport is dying out, we’re not getting that same intensity, the same love, or new fans anymore."


Noah Rubin interview: 'I don't know if people realise alcohol and substance abuse in tennis is a thing'
Tennis is already dead among the kids in the US because it is all about Football. Basketball and Baseball in the US. That is why over half of the tennis scholarships are awarded to foreign students. As the older population die off there is no one to replace them. I blame the style of the game today and tennis is the only sport where mediocre players earn millions.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
If you watch the US commentators, they are all busily fawning on Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, and JMac and trying desperately to tie some younger person to some aspect of them, while the entire game has changed into a power one. Moreover, the younger generation cannot relate to these has-beens, whatever their achievements were in eras of tennis domination by a few countries. They try to act as mentors and mother or father figures to the young players in a condescending way, while the younger players don't care about them at all.

You will see that only Federer and not Nadal or Djokovic fawn so much over Laver. They pay the required respect and move on. But Laver doesn't commentate. The commentators are stuck in a time warp and only those who toe the line of praising them seem to be employed.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
Tennis is already dead among the kids in the US because it is all about Football. Basketball and Baseball in the US. That is why over half of the tennis scholarships are awarded to foreign students. As the older population die off there is no one to replace them. I blame the style of the game today and tennis is the only sport where mediocre players earn millions.
Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*Like*
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
If you watch the US commentators, they are all busily fawning on Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, and JMac and trying desperately to tie some younger person to some aspect of them, while the entire game has changed into a power one. Moreover, the younger generation cannot relate to these has-beens, whatever their achievements were in eras of tennis domination by a few countries. They try to act as mentors and mother or father figures to the young players in a condescending way, while the younger players don't care about them at all.

You will see that only Federer and not Nadal or Djokovic fawn so much over Laver. They pay the required respect and move on. But Laver doesn't commentate. The commentators are stuck in a time warp and only those who toe the line of praising them seem to be employed.
Been some awkward moments w Former pro "from very long grass time ago where the sport was very different from today times" and young players.
For example this one

Was odd that trophy ceremony.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Been some awkward moments w Former pro "from very long grass time ago where the sport was very different from today times" and young players.
For example this one

Was odd that trophy ceremony.
Laver won on grass and clay and does not commentate so your post seems quite mysterious as to what you are getting at. He is also very much in the loop with the LC.

Quite different from a Brad Gilbert going on and on with his stupid nicknames for players.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Laver won on grass and clay and does not commentate so your post seems quite mysterious as to what you are getting at. He is also very much in the loop with the LC.

Quite different from a Brad Gilbert going on and on with his stupid nicknames for players.
I dont listen to those commies you are talking about. I prefer without commentators when I watch, and I have that option when I watch tennis. I find commentators too annoying.
For the younger players now they have been looking up to the big 4 and such. The generations before them are not often mentioned by these youngsters. It is what it is. OP is talking about old crowds in tennis, thats its too old and younger players needed to play the sport as well.
I have no idea how to solve this, but I know my 9 year old son have very little interest for what happened in the 90s and back. How to make tennis fun?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I dont listen to those commies you are talking about. I prefer without commentators when I watch, and I have that option when I watch tennis. I find commentators too annoying.
For the younger players now they have been looking up to the big 4 and such. The generations before them are not often mentioned by these youngsters. It is what it is. OP is talking about old crowds in tennis, thats its too old and younger players needed to play the sport as well.
I have no idea how to solve this, but I know my 9 year old son have very little interest for what happened in the 90s and back. How to make tennis fun?
Exactly. Younger generation is what it is. Harping on Navratilova's volleys or Chrissie's groundies is just boring for them. Frankly, pros know even less about them than we do.

Another thing not mentioned here is that the average age of a teaching pro in the US is quite high. It is 46, and rising every year. There is a huge generational gap between the teaching pros and the juniors they train. Juniors benefit from experience, but they should not end up thinking that tennis teaching is not something cool which a young person would want to do. It affects the overall perception.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Young people don’t have the time to sit around watching 5 hour finals and SF’s at a time. We can’t jusy watch a tournament for an entire two weeks, we have to work three jobs to earn the same wage as what boomers used to earn in one job. The luxury isn’t there anymore. It’s a changing concept that will be seen across a variety of sports, not just tennis. If you want to be able to afford a house you can’t spend your time sitting in front of a TV watching Isner v Anderson for hours and hours.
I think you need to add the word "SOME" before your "young people". This is a whole other discussion and a hot topic button... but I disagree. I won't be a HOUSE owner, because of the market I'm in is way too expensive (yeah boomers messed it up, its way too expensive but even they can't afford it!), but I'm able to afford a condo and vehicles. I can (and do) also spend time watching tennis if I want to as well. Do I watch everything? No. However, since tennis is a big passion of mine I'm able to spend whatever hours of watching I feel like as long as I'm enjoying. It's an opportunity cost, work life balance. I worked multiple jobs when I was in school, but now I have a singular decent paying one that I can grow at. Also, I can safely say, when I was in school working the multiple jobs, the sports marketers didn't care about me, I didn't have enough disposable income as you mentioned. After I finished school? Sure, I spend money now on what I want once my responsibilities are taken care of. Perfect for a marketer.

Demographics, location, social status all play a part but its ignorant to group young people altogether. Basketball is HUGE where I am too, and I see no shortage of sports fans in the young people around here. Some probably should spend less resources (time and money) on it, but the group I'm with, I see them doing just fine. I think they spend more money and time going out and drinking than watching sports. And that's a choice.



Yep, I have to agree, being from Canada, tennis is on the rise for youth. Yes, this has a lot to do with the past 10 years (having some Canadian tennis stars), but many more parents shy away from hockey then in the past due to head injuries.

I grew up playing hockey my whole life and most everyone I knew did too. However, myself and several of my friends have already said they won't let their children play it seriously. It's insanely expensive as well, even in Northern Quebec.

However, if FAA and Shapo can start winning slams, I think tennis will boom here, it is ready for it. I think this is the case for many countries, even the US. Imagine 2 or more Americans in the top 10 winning slams? It would bring popularity back.

I am sure Murray did that for the UK, and others for their countries as well, but America is a huge market.
Agreed with the above. I am in late 20's now and I see tennis being much more popular now in Toronto than it was when i started 12 years ago... more people pay attention to it and even recreationally its harder to find court time. Annoying, but good in a way. The interest is there. Milos helped this and FAA and Shapo if they can do big things will definitely help continue the growth. Heck we have Bianca here too. I may not be a fan of all of them but I'm glad I can see the sport grow.

Actually I can hear a lot of tennis discussion at work. Heck some of the guys here their kids are top juniors I see in the rankings too.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
U.S. ratings or worldwide?

I'm not surprised in the U.S. It's become something of a minor sport. You drive by courts now and no one's playing. Back in the '70's when I was in my teens all the courts were full and people were waiting to play. For whatever reason people stopped playing tennis here. It's strange because it's a sport you can play for practically free and you only need two participants, or just one if you want to hit against a wall. Try playing football or baseball with two players.

Tennis is also a sport you can play for a lifetime. I think Americans in general just participate less in sports. Think of all the time spent playing videogames now. That's taking away time from sports participation.

I think outside of the U.S. tennis is still more popular. Believe it or not but American football and baseball isn't as popular outside the U.S.
I love tennis and I come from a lower middle class background. Played on horrible cracked courts with cheap rackets and dead balls.

The problem is that the sport is not great on TV, and the entire culture around the major tournaments is built around catering to wealthy and no one else. A few years ago when I went to the US open, Mercedes Benz owners got parking hundreds of yards closer to the courts than everyone else...just for owning a Mercedes. I sent an e-mail to the USTA, saying this is a pretty poor way of encouraging people of all classes towards tennis, and was ignored. You want to maintain a "country club" aura, you will for the most part only get country club types interested in the sport.
 
Tennis is already dead among the kids in the US because it is all about Football. Basketball and Baseball in the US.
This might have been true in the 90s.

Football may be on the decline.
CTE is real and parents are getting called out on being negligent idiots for letting kids play football.
Football's future may be more on par with MMA and gladiator fighting.

Now, soccer and lax have taken over.
 
If you watch the US commentators, they are all busily fawning on Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, and JMac and trying desperately to tie some younger person to some aspect of them, while the entire game has changed into a power one. Moreover, the younger generation cannot relate to these has-beens, whatever their achievements were in eras of tennis domination by a few countries. They try to act as mentors and mother or father figures to the young players in a condescending way, while the younger players don't care about them at all.

You will see that only Federer and not Nadal or Djokovic fawn so much over Laver. They pay the required respect and move on. But Laver doesn't commentate. The commentators are stuck in a time warp and only those who toe the line of praising them seem to be employed.
Are they really that out of touch?
They seem to love the modern greats and fawn all over them.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
This might have been true in the 90s.

Football may be on the decline.
CTE is real and parents are getting called out on being negligent idiots for letting kids play football.
Football's future may be more on par with MMA and gladiator fighting.

Now, soccer and lax have taken over.
Football is not on the decline. It is football season not and I see all the kids from pee wee to high school practicing now. More young kids get concussions from play soccer than football due to no head protection. There is no correlation to football and CTE.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Football is not on the decline. It is football season not and I see all the kids from pee wee to high school practicing now. More young kids get concussions from play soccer than football due to no head protection. There is no correlation to football and CTE.
Seriously? Every play results in a violent collision where even if the head is not directly impacted, there is mild brain trauma.

Football fan here and played from 6 years old to high school. It had no negative effect on me. DURRRRRRR. 8-B

Would never let my kids play knowing what I know now.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
Seriously? Every play results in a violent collision where even if the head is not directly impacted, there is mild brain trauma.

Football fan here and played from 6 years old to high school. It had no negative effect on me. DURRRRRRR. 8-B

Would never let my kids play knowing what I know now.
That is stupid! Every play does not result in a violent collision. As I have said before there is not correlation between CTE and football. It is just one man trying to attack the most popular sport in the US because he does not like it. I dont see the same attack on boxing or MMA, because football is a 10 billion dollar sport on the professional level and 10 times that on the college level.
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
Not only is there correlation, there is a strong cover up by the NFL.
Here we go with conspiracy theories! We dont know how Seau got CTE. Yes he played football but there are lots of former players that show no sighs of CTE so you are talking about less that 1 percent so how is that a correlation?
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
Here we go with conspiracy theories! We dont know how Seau got CTE. Yes he played football but there are lots of former players that show no sighs of CTE so you are talking about less that 1 percent so how is that a correlation?
Seau was on steriods all his life, he reached middle age when testosterone isnt being produced as much and got off the juice. He got depressed and killed himself. Its common. CTE is a comp out to not address his real problems.
Been some awkward moments w Former pro "from very long grass time ago where the sport was very different from today times" and young players.
For example this one

Was odd that trophy ceremony.
Laver is the most respected tennis player on earth, he is like a god to the players.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Seau was on steriods all his life, he reached middle age when testosterone isnt being produced as much and got off the juice. He got depressed and killed himself. Its common. CTE is a comp out to not address his real problems.


Laver is the most respected tennis player on earth, he is like a god to the players.
For Zverev too?

Zverev is a player boys my son age likes.

Communicate w a child is to do it on the child terms. Talking about having more kids to watch tennis. Bringing Laver in doesn’t help. That’s something for retired generations. Not for kids. I’m referring to OPs message.
 
Here we go with conspiracy theories! We dont know how Seau got CTE. Yes he played football but there are lots of former players that show no sighs of CTE so you are talking about less that 1 percent so how is that a correlation?
They've cut open the brains of like 200 former NFL players
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
For Zverev too?

Zverev is a player boys my son age likes.

Communicate w a child is to do it on the child terms. Talking about having more kids to watch tennis. Bringing Laver in doesn’t help. That’s something for retired generations. Not for kids. I’m referring to OPs message.
Ive never met someone who didnt hold Laver in the highest reguards. Really nice guy as well
 

Lozo1016

Semi-Pro
A) It's a real shame that so many people on a tennis forum devoted to tennis diehards think tennis is "boring" or "dull."

B) I wonder why the average age for ATP Tennis is 61, but the average age for WTA Tennis is 55. What gives?
 

Roddick85

Hall of Fame
I love tennis and I come from a lower middle class background. Played on horrible cracked courts with cheap rackets and dead balls.

The problem is that the sport is not great on TV, and the entire culture around the major tournaments is built around catering to wealthy and no one else. A few years ago when I went to the US open, Mercedes Benz owners got parking hundreds of yards closer to the courts than everyone else...just for owning a Mercedes. I sent an e-mail to the USTA, saying this is a pretty poor way of encouraging people of all classes towards tennis, and was ignored. You want to maintain a "country club" aura, you will for the most part only get country club types interested in the sport.
I think IW has the same policy but with Audi owners? :rolleyes:
At the Canadian Open here in Montreal, people with corporate box/tickets were allowed to park within meters of the tournament site but us "average joe's" had to park almost 1 mile away and walk. At the end of the day, with policies like this, it doesn't encourage people to come back and it rubs people the wrong way.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
A) It's a real shame that so many people on a tennis forum devoted to tennis diehards think tennis is "boring" or "dull."

B) I wonder why the average age for ATP Tennis is 61, but the average age for WTA Tennis is 55. What gives?
You're always going to get more varied and nuanced responses from avid fans of something. But being critical is usually commonplace for a community of something since they're much more involved.

The average age of TV viewership in general keeps going up as younger ppl aren't on cable tv anymore. The oldies are the ones left on cable tv statistics.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Dude I'm basically watching tennis on crappy streams, literally zero TV so nothing is registered in the official stats. I imagine most people in their 20s and 30s who watch tennis are doing exactly what I am doing.
Reality is Montreal just set an attendance record without Djokerer and Cincy without Nadal or any of the Big 3 in the final.

However it may well be that this bulge is all these 61 year olds starting to retire so attendance is up.:unsure:

Its really all about the tournaments so if they are getting fine attendance then thinks probably just fine.

The commentators are somewhat ignorant of the new wave of players given the rapid expulsion of the pigeons of yore from the top 40. (Just saw Bendych blow serving out match twice in a row a few days ago and lose 6-1 in 3rd.:sneaky:)
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Just because people don't watch tennis on TV or another media outlook doesn't mean they don't enjoy playing the game.
Yeah but the stats show that the industry sales are decreasing or maybe just staying flat, no growth. It is measured by sales of rackets and balls and other stuff.

Number of frequent rec players is falling.

Existing set of players is aging.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
Yeah but the stats show that the industry sales are decreasing or maybe just staying flat, no growth. It is measured by sales of rackets and balls and other stuff.

Number of frequent rec players is falling.

Existing set of players is aging.
Tennis is an age-friendly sport.
Look at Federer. The oldest GOAT of all professional sports.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
I wish they would try new camera angles. The lower angles are so much better to see the speed of the players and ball trajectory. Feels much more intense instead of the almost birds eye view we get most of the time which is completely detached from the energy on the court.

They've got to try more things to make tennis exciting on tv. Even as someone who's taught tennis for half my life and played college tennis I don't care to watch sometimes because of things that need improvement - camera, commentators, etc. The camera angle at Winston-Salem this week is great.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
I wish they would try new camera angles. The lower angles are so much better to see the speed of the players and ball trajectory. Feels much more intense instead of the almost birds eye view we get most of the time which is completely detached from the energy on the court.

They've got to try more things to make tennis exciting on tv. Even as someone who's taught tennis for half my life and played college tennis I don't care to watch sometimes because of things that need improvement - camera, commentators, etc.
Mary Carillo.
:(
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
They've cut open the brains of like 200 former NFL players
Name them? How many had CTE? All I know of is 2, Mike Webster and Junior Seau. Could this be contributed to steriod use? As I said before there is no correlation to football and CTE more testing needs to be conducted.
 

blablavla

Professional
A) It's a real shame that so many people on a tennis forum devoted to tennis diehards think tennis is "boring" or "dull."
I love playing tennis.
But it is boring to watch 3 or 5 hours match between Djokovic and Nadl, or Murray, or Nadal vs Murray. These days you can replace Murray with Medvedev, occasionally Zverev.
20 - 50 shots every rally.
zero risk.
As a result long and boring matches.

As a recreational player, I know that the shortcut to win is to make less mistakes.
So, if winning is my main goal, yeah, I can go down the same route. But when someone asks me about the game, I'll honestly say it was a very boring thing to watch.
If I go for furn -> I have to take risk, bring variation, change directions, attack the net, dropshot & lob. More risk, more mistakes much higher probability to lose. But fun.

As players got too obsessed with GOAT competition, endorsements, which in turn are heavily linked to your position in rating, which in turn makes the price of mistake super high, we got what we got. A boring competition of players that went through academies that teach everyone same thing.

At times at Wimbledon, as everyone plays in all white, you don't know who is where.
That would be impossible in the battle of styles.

That is probably what keeps soccer so famous.
There is pretty much always a battle of clashes.
You have crazy Barcelona and Real, Germany and Spain, where winning is not enough, it must be done in style.
You have a bunch of defense oriented teams where nobody cares about style, it's all about winning.
And then once a while Greece comes out of nowhere and snatches the title.
That keeps the interest. Although club football risks to go similar way to tennis, as it is overly commercial these days.

While in tennis, pretty much everyone does the same - hit as hard as you can, with as much top spin as you can from baseline.
And same 3 guys win all the titles during last 15 years.
Nothing to talk about, except when will retire Federer, when will retire Nadal and when will retire Djokovic...
 

KG1965

Legend
Baseball and basketball dead?
Baseball is a sport that I do not know, nobody talks about it in Europe. N-o-b-o-d-y.
Basketball is not only dead because it is a team sport, so the attention of TV watchers is on 10 players not on 2. And however basketball also has a problem in duration, who is not a fan only looks at the last quarter. No one looks at the first 2.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
Baseball is a sport that I do not know, nobody talks about it in Europe. N-o-b-o-d-y.
Basketball is not only dead because it is a team sport, so the attention of TV watchers is on 10 players not on 2. And however basketball also has a problem in duration, who is not a fan only looks at the last quarter. No one looks at the first 2.
With the younger gen, baseball is practically dead. Basketball (at least in US) is very alive and well.
 

Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Way back, all tennis was broadcast on national tv networks over the air so many people turn in that would not have. Plus, you had top Americans and people were more patriotic. Today very few young children participate in phy ed and teens, unless they are very athletic, never do any junior team sports either. So the only way they participate is through their work in company sponsored golf, softball teams and through their friend playing, they start up playing too! Athletic mind parents make it mandatory for there children to participate in all sports but give special attention to tennis and golf - country club crowd.
 

Slightly D1

Professional
Your average under 40 year old viewers are mostly watching on bootleg streams for free without paying for a cable bill and sports packages on TV. I’ve said this before but radically changing tennis won’t do a thing for viewership, a majority of people will never find watching tennis interesting. It’s more important to get people to play tennis so they can appreciate and understand it, then they might enjoy watching.

It’s also worth noting that many “tennis fans”, and maybe even a majority on this site, aren’t exactly able to watch matches live with the time zone differences.

The dominance of the big 3 may also have hurt tennis in the sense that 90% of the average tennis fans only care about either Fed, Rafa, or Djokovic’s matches.
 

KG1965

Legend
With the younger gen, baseball is practically dead. Basketball (at least in US) is very alive and well.
I don't know in Asia or South America ... in Europe was born dead; and basketball is alive but there is IMHO to do a reflection even in the basket on excessive duration. Basketball fans may be able to see all 4 quarters, but 90% of people see only the 4th or two at the most.

The problem is who looks at half a game?
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
"I do not see any sense in Nadal and Djokovic hitting a 30-shot rally. That bothers me. It seems like a video game. Tennis needs to have more variety."

Petr Korda

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Robert F

Semi-Pro
I wish they would try new camera angles. The lower angles are so much better to see the speed of the players and ball trajectory. Feels much more intense instead of the almost birds eye view we get most of the time which is completely detached from the energy on the court.

They've got to try more things to make tennis exciting on tv. Even as someone who's taught tennis for half my life and played college tennis I don't care to watch sometimes because of things that need improvement - camera, commentators, etc. The camera angle at Winston-Salem this week is great.
Totally agree. I think it would be great to have the camera virtually on court behind the receiver. Then you'd really understand how hard it is to return a serve. Better perspective of pace and shape of the ball.
 
Totally agree. I think it would be great to have the camera virtually on court behind the receiver. Then you'd really understand how hard it is to return a serve. Better perspective of pace and shape of the ball.
Yes and no. I like the camera angle directly behind the court that is about eye level. This is a great view.

However, the returner camera views are terrible because they are below the net and makes the point unbearable to watch.
 
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