The ATP/ITF don't know how to sell tennis

Otacon

Hall of Fame
The governing bodies of men's tennis suck, that's the reality. We have a very badly organized sport with no strong centralised body that oversees the whole thing.

I mean tennis should be a lot more popular than it is now, a whole lot than Hockey and up there with Basketball.

Maybe the ATP HQ should move to the US and the management be more americanized.

Why ? Because the Americans are very strong at marketing their sports. So, let's focus more on pro basketball in the US..

One of the first steps taken by the NBA was to facilitate the broadcasting of content. In fact, while the ATP and ITF are padlocking their content by thinking that people were going to come on their platforms, the NBA made the choice to distribute on all supports, by not giving all the exclusivity to a partner in order to keep a maximum of control and flexibility. The League quickly seized new online tools, by creating a League Pass, which allows you to watch all the matches without having to subscribe to a channel. In tennis, you have to have multiple subscriptions and the worst thing is that it can change every couple of years.

The NBA also announced a few years ago the broadcast of a virtual reality match every week. The NBA also encourages the live broadcast of certain matches or content on social media. Compare this to the ridiculously short highlights videos of tennis matches on Youtube ...

And beyond merchandising and events (Slam Dunk Contests, fashion shows, etc.) the NBA develops its touchpoints. In addition to its shops, the league has thus opened a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona, and a mini theme park in Shanghai. It also multiplies the academies dedicated to teaching basketball for the youngest all over the world.

So where does tennis stand today ? Light-years away from that.
 
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ABCD

Hall of Fame
The governing bodies of men's tennis suck, that's the reality. We have a very badly organized sport with no strong centralised body that oversees the whole thing.

I mean tennis should be a lot more popular than it is now, a whole lot than Hockey and up there with Basketball.

Maybe the ATP HQ should move to the US and the management be more americanized.

Why ? Because the Americans are very strong at marketing their sports. So, let's focus more on pro basketball in the US..

One of the first steps taken by the NBA was to facilitate the broadcasting of content. In fact, while the ATP and ITF are padlocking their content by thinking that people were going to come on their platforms, the NBA made the choice to distribute on all supports, by not giving all the exclusivity to a partner in order to keep a maximum of control and flexibility. The League quickly seized new online tools, by creating a League Pass, which allows you to watch all the matches without having to subscribe to a channel. In tennis, you have to have multiple subscriptions and the worse thing is that it can change every couple of years.

The NBA also announced a few years ago the broadcast of a virtual reality match every week. The NBA also encourages the live broadcast of certain matches or content on social networks. Compare this to the ridiculously short highlights videos of tennis matches on Youtube ...

And beyond merchandising and events (Slam Dunk Contests, fashion shows, etc.) the NBA develops its touchpoints. In addition to its shops, the league has thus opened a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona, or a mini amusement park in Shanghai. It also multiplies the academies dedicated to teaching basketball for the youngest all over the world.

So where does tennis stand today ? Light-years away from that.
You seem to be very clever and knowledgeable. I advise you to outline a business plan and approach ATP. Maybe they will hire you. It is very difficult not to react when someone has such original bright ideas.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
You seem to be very clever and knowledgeable. I advise you to outline a business plan and approach ATP. Maybe they will hire you. It is very difficult not to react when someone has such original bright ideas.
useless snark aside, OP is basically correct.
Tennis is now a fringe sport, none of my friends even have a clue what a Masters tournament is, all the know are the slams, and they know of barely any players other than the big3.

It is hard to watch tennis, there are tournaments on all the time, yet trying to find a way to watch them is like crawling over broken glass.

I don't know what the answer is, I just think it is pretty sad, as tennis is an awesome sport that shouldn't be in decline, it should be as popular as it was when I was a kid.
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
useless snark aside, OP is basically correct.
Tennis is now a fringe sport, none of my friends even have a clue what a Masters tournament is, all the know are the slams, and they know of barely any players other than the big3.

It is hard to watch tennis, there are tournaments on all the time, yet trying to find a way to watch them is like crawling over broken glass.

I don't know what the answer is, I just think it is pretty sad, as tennis is an awesome sport that shouldn't be in decline, it should be as popular as it was when I was a kid.
TennisTV isn’t expensive and covers most of the ATP tournaments. In the U.K. football rules, Wimbledon is the only tournament the vast majority of the public, even sports fans, know or care about; even most recreational tennis players don’t seem much bothered to watch. Not sure the ATP/ITF can do much about this, it’s a hard sell, even I’m getting a bit jaded by the homogenous surfaces and baseline bashes. More Kyrgios would help.
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
useless snark aside, OP is basically correct.
Tennis is now a fringe sport, none of my friends even have a clue what a Masters tournament is, all the know are the slams, and they know of barely any players other than the big3.

It is hard to watch tennis, there are tournaments on all the time, yet trying to find a way to watch them is like crawling over broken glass.

I don't know what the answer is, I just think it is pretty sad, as tennis is an awesome sport that shouldn't be in decline, it should be as popular as it was when I was a kid.
Based on your post, I can conclude that you are not Chinese.

New report highlights astounding popularity of tennis in China

The participation numbers for tennis in China has grown so rapidly that the country now boasts more tennis players than any other country in the world


If you are genuine interested in this topic and would like to approach it seriously look into this report (link below).

 

van_Loederen

Professional
tennis should be a lot more popular than it is now, a whole lot than Hockey and up there with Basketball.
do you believe this because you believe tennis is truely on par with those as a spectator sport or is it just your direct deduction from your assumption that its broadcasting is mishandled? :whistle:

Otacon said:
the ATP and ITF are padlocking their content [...] the NBA made the choice to distribute on all supports, by not giving all the exclusivity to a partner
i heard that basically there are not enough partners that pay enough for tennis content.

Otacon said:
In tennis, you have to have multiple subscriptions and the worse thing is that it can change every couple of years.
that might be the effect of them struggling to get bigger deals.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
You have a huge point with the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube etc. and some marketing things as well.

But just for the pure competition and ongoing excitement tennis is in fact better organized than almost all others sports. The small ATP/ITF animosities shouldn’t distract us from the whole picture.

We have the best matchups over and over again through the whole year. There are 14 tournaments where the best players in the world compete for the title. And the competitive season almost lasts for the whole year. Of course somebody skips something here and there, but that’s normally only for health/fitness reasons..

Now compare that to other sports:

Football:
Big matches are only in April and May for club football and every second year in the summer for national teams. Otherwise as a fan of a big team you’ll see a bunch of non-competitive matches against lesser teams (at least since money is everything and the already rich teams get only richer from year to year).

Athletics:
The top sprinters avoid each other for the whole season except the Olympics or World Championships just to take easy wins and money.

US Sports:
Regular season is irrelevant because there cannot be any tension. They play 82 games to find 16 teams who compete for the title. So good teams can take it easy after a few weeks, while those who have to fight for a playoff spot until the last games usually don’t have a further chance anyway.

Motor Sports:
This is the other extreme. The season is fair and evenly distributed with a points table, but there are no single highlights with peak hype.

The ATP Tour is very well balanced in my opinion. There a major highlights like the Slams and there is an endless race for points which makes every tournament relevant in a way.

As I said, not many sports have such a good organisation. Another example would be Winter Sports with the Olympics or World Championships as major events and the World Cup as regular tour. But then, it’s only a few months in the year of course. So for me, tennis is very much on top.

And with such a calendar there is no need for "Slam dunk contest" equivalents as well IMO.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Based on your post, I can conclude that you are not Chinese.

New report highlights astounding popularity of tennis in China

The participation numbers for tennis in China has grown so rapidly that the country now boasts more tennis players than any other country in the world


If you are genuine interested in this topic and would like to approach it seriously look into this report (link below).

So that's why the stadiums are empty at the shanghai masters.
And China is not the rest of the world.

TennisTV isn’t expensive and covers most of the ATP tournaments. In the U.K. football rules, Wimbledon is the only tournament the vast majority of the public, even sports fans, know or care about; even most recreational tennis players don’t seem much bothered to watch. Not sure the ATP/ITF can do much about this, it’s a hard sell, even I’m getting a bit jaded by the homogenous surfaces and baseline bashes. More Kyrgios would help.
When I was young, tennis was one of the main sports it seemed. The players were household names, everyone was interested and followed it at least.
Now though, it is 100% becoming a niche sport, no young people seem to give a chit about it, the average person doesn't follow it. The AO is huge still, half the popularity though is because it is "the thing to do" in summer. You're spot on about court homogenization, and the total lack of characters now.
 

CYGS

Legend
useless snark aside, OP is basically correct.
Tennis is now a fringe sport, none of my friends even have a clue what a Masters tournament is, all the know are the slams, and they know of barely any players other than the big3.

It is hard to watch tennis, there are tournaments on all the time, yet trying to find a way to watch them is like crawling over broken glass.

I don't know what the answer is, I just think it is pretty sad, as tennis is an awesome sport that shouldn't be in decline, it should be as popular as it was when I was a kid.
Because Americans don't follow tennis much?
 

Subway Tennis

Hall of Fame
You have a huge point with the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube etc. and some marketing things as well.

But just for the pure competition and ongoing excitement tennis is in fact better organized than almost all others sports. The small ATP/ITF animosities shouldn’t distract us from the whole picture.

We have the best matchups over and over again through the whole year. There are 14 tournaments where the best players in the world compete for the title. And the competitive season almost lasts for the whole year. Of course somebody skips something here and there, but that’s normally only for health/fitness reasons..

Now compare that to other sports:

Football:
Big matches are only in April and May for club football and every second year in the summer for national teams. Otherwise as a fan of a big team you’ll see a bunch of non-competitive matches against lesser teams (at least since money is everything and the already rich teams get only richer from year to year).

Athletics:
The top sprinters avoid each other for the whole season except the Olympics or World Championships just to take easy wins and money.

US Sports:
Regular season is irrelevant because there cannot be any tension. They play 82 games to find 16 teams who compete for the title. So good teams can take it easy after a few weeks, while those who have to fight for a playoff spot until the last games usually don’t have a further chance anyway.

Motor Sports:
This is the other extreme. The season is fair and evenly distributed with a points table, but there are no single highlights with peak hype.

The ATP Tour is very well balanced in my opinion. There a major highlights like the Slams and there is an endless race for points which makes every tournament relevant in a way.

As I said, not many sports have such a good organisation. Another example would be Winter Sports with the Olympics or World Championships as major events and the World Cup as regular tour. But then, it’s only a few months in the year of course. So for me, tennis is very much on top.

And with such a calendar there is no need for "Slam dunk contest" equivalents as well IMO.
Great points. The OPs comparison of tennis to NBA is a bad starting point.

He never really acknowledges that the operational procedures could never be the same given the completely different composition of the competitive landscapes of the two sports.

The one thing I do agree with OP on is the fact that tennis definitely needs one centralised governing body.

But plenty of other people have already made this suggestion on here. And it has been something of a trend to push for this change in the tennis media ever since the cage rattling started in the ATP a few years ago.
 

CYGS

Legend
More or less than in the past? The US doesn't even have any real prospects anymore either, which is insane when you think about it.
Since no American is doing well in ATP now, I think young talent is losing interest. Americans like winning too much.
 

clayqueen

Talk Tennis Guru
OP, you should take this up with the powers that be.

They make it so difficult to re-watch matches and it would be great to be able to download a 'boxed' set of your favourite players' matches through all the rounds in a tournament instead of searching for them piecemeal.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
Since no American is doing well in ATP now, I think young talent is losing interest. Americans like winning too much.
Possibly that has alot to do with it. I think young people are lost in the smart phones now too. I was thinking the other day, can you even imagine some interesting and unconventional player like Santoro being able to come up through the ranks as a junior now? He'd be squashed by the "machine" and would never get a chance to flourish.
 

ForehandCross

Hall of Fame
You seem to be very clever and knowledgeable. I advise you to outline a business plan and approach ATP. Maybe they will hire you. It is very difficult not to react when someone has such original bright ideas.
You seem very knowledgeable, and have an eye for finding great articles on the internet.
You should approach a online news feed agencies, maybe they will hire you.

It is very difficult to not appreciate when someone has this much dedication and talent, you make like 10 threads a day?






(Sorry couldn't resist, this posters' holier than thou approach was annoying, carry on the discussion on the thread topic)
 

ABCD

Hall of Fame
You seem very knowledgeable, and have an eye for finding great articles on the internet.
You should approach a news feed app agencies, maybe they will hire you. It is very difficult to not appreciate when someone has this much dedication and talent, like you have when it comes to finding great articles.






(Sorry couldn't resist, this posters' holier than thou approach was annoying)
Thank you for your kind words. Indeed, finding good articles and posting them on TTW is my hobby. However, I am very happy with my current job so would not change anything at the moment. Again, I wish to thank you for caring. You are very kind. Best wishes.
 

van_Loederen

Professional
tennis definitely needs one centralised governing body.
the 4 Slams won't cease power, and by whom the Davis Cup is governed should normally not be so important (oh well).

in our modern times there should still be ways to make the proadcasting (online) more user friendly / centralised. maybe they will manage it in the future.

When I was young, tennis was one of the main sports it seemed. The players were household names, everyone was interested and followed it at least.
Now though, it is 100% becoming a niche sport, no young people seem to give a chit about it, the average person doesn't follow it. The AO is huge still, half the popularity though is because it is "the thing to do" in summer. You're spot on about court homogenization, and the total lack of characters now.
tennis' popularity worldwide started decreasing in the mid/late 80s.

as for court homogenisation, what would you suggest to do? tennis is constantly evolving, players are getting taller and the serve becomes more dominant. that problem started during the mid/late 80s.

You have a huge point with the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube etc. and some marketing things as well.

But just for the pure competition and ongoing excitement tennis is in fact better organized than almost all others sports. The small ATP/ITF animosities shouldn’t distract us from the whole picture.

We have the best matchups over and over again through the whole year. There are 14 tournaments where the best players in the world compete for the title. And the competitive season almost lasts for the whole year. Of course somebody skips something here and there, but that’s normally only for health/fitness reasons..

Now compare that to other sports:

Football:
Big matches are only in April and May for club football and every second year in the summer for national teams. Otherwise as a fan of a big team you’ll see a bunch of non-competitive matches against lesser teams (at least since money is everything and the already rich teams get only richer from year to year).

Athletics:
The top sprinters avoid each other for the whole season except the Olympics or World Championships just to take easy wins and money.

US Sports:
Regular season is irrelevant because there cannot be any tension. They play 82 games to find 16 teams who compete for the title. So good teams can take it easy after a few weeks, while those who have to fight for a playoff spot until the last games usually don’t have a further chance anyway.

Motor Sports:
This is the other extreme. The season is fair and evenly distributed with a points table, but there are no single highlights with peak hype.

The ATP Tour is very well balanced in my opinion. There a major highlights like the Slams and there is an endless race for points which makes every tournament relevant in a way.

As I said, not many sports have such a good organisation. Another example would be Winter Sports with the Olympics or World Championships as major events and the World Cup as regular tour. But then, it’s only a few months in the year of course. So for me, tennis is very much on top.

And with such a calendar there is no need for "Slam dunk contest" equivalents as well IMO.
interesting comparison with the other sports. never thought much about that.

as for the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube, that's of course unpleasant for us, but this marketing model is not exclusive to tennis. on the one hand would i assume they know what's most lucrative. on the other hand i've heard criticism of that approach as it's deemed bad for popularizing the sport further.
 

tonylg

Legend
The ITF really doesn't have much to do with running nor marketing the large professional tournaments any more, that's the ATP and local governing body for each slam. The ATP had this brilliant idea to make tennis the same all around the world and now that they have, it's pretty bl00dy boring to anyone outside Europe who isn't into the slow court grinding game. The Europeans are mostly into soccer anyway.

There was a formula that was very marketable and was killed off because the ATP didn't own it, Davis Cup. Apart from a few (mostly European) outspoken whingers, I've not seen as much interest on here in anything outside of slams than the ATP Cup (in fact it may have been more popular than the slams), even though the stands were mostly empty for matches not involving Australia. It's simple, people like to cheer for their country. Just imagine a well marketed, proper home and away series of ties all around the world, just like home and away games of basketball or soccer.

Then have the slams all on vastly different surfaces and yes, that may facilitate different winners, which would be a good thing .. even if it's Opelka. The truth is there's little evidence he'd win much anyway. The predictability of the homogenised game is boring even when it's between players with 20 slams each, imagine how boring it will be when it's Medvedev, Thiem and RBA with less than half a dozen slams between them.

And for goodness sake, make the points system more transparent, sack every single current commentator and get interesting commentators to talk about players other than the big 3. I watched Pospisil this morning and the commentators knew nothing about him. All they could talk about was a little bit of Tsitsipas and the big 3, who weren't even playing. Imagine a little package on each player before a match. People are not going to invest in someone they know nothing about, so they won't invest in the match either.

But as above, when all tennis looks almost the same, there's no point playing anything other than the slams. People don't know the players, they don't follow nor understand the points system and if it is not the big three going for some record, even those supposedly promoting it (other than that idiot who keeps screaming "that's outrageous") seem to treat it with little more enthusiasm than Bernie Tomic does.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
The governing bodies of men's tennis suck, that's the reality. We have a very badly organized sport with no strong centralised body that oversees the whole thing.

I mean tennis should be a lot more popular than it is now, a whole lot than Hockey and up there with Basketball.

Maybe the ATP HQ should move to the US and the management be more americanized.

Why ? Because the Americans are very strong at marketing their sports. So, let's focus more on pro basketball in the US..

One of the first steps taken by the NBA was to facilitate the broadcasting of content. In fact, while the ATP and ITF are padlocking their content by thinking that people were going to come on their platforms, the NBA made the choice to distribute on all supports, by not giving all the exclusivity to a partner in order to keep a maximum of control and flexibility. The League quickly seized new online tools, by creating a League Pass, which allows you to watch all the matches without having to subscribe to a channel. In tennis, you have to have multiple subscriptions and the worse thing is that it can change every couple of years.

The NBA also announced a few years ago the broadcast of a virtual reality match every week. The NBA also encourages the live broadcast of certain matches or content on social networks. Compare this to the ridiculously short highlights videos of tennis matches on Youtube ...

And beyond merchandising and events (Slam Dunk Contests, fashion shows, etc.) the NBA develops its touchpoints. In addition to its shops, the league has thus opened a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona, or a mini amusement park in Shanghai. It also multiplies the academies dedicated to teaching basketball for the youngest all over the world.

So where does tennis stand today ? Light-years away from that.
Americans are very strong at marketing their sports? Really? The fact is that the oustside world doesn't care about American sports.

As for the NBA, it's just a basketball league in North America. The FIBA (International Basketball Federation) governs the sport of basketball worldwide.
As for opening 'a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona' by the NBA, basketball is a popular sport in Spain, but not because of Americans.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Americans are very strong at marketing their sports? Really? The fact is that the oustside world doesn't care about American sports.

As for the NBA, it's just a basketball league in North America. The FIBA (International Basketball Federation) governs the sport of basketball worldwide.
As for opening 'a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona' by the NBA, basketball is a popular sport in Spain, but not because of Americans.
I fully agree with you here. It’s a traditional USA-centric view which cannot hold water in today’s globalistic world, if it was ever true.

But such kind of traditionalism dies hard. Even in this forum there were posters who thought that American Football would attract more young sports talents world-wide than tennis, only because of the NFL.

I rather think those pure American sports will lose ground even in America itself over the next decades, just because what’s popular over the whole world won’t go past American teenagers anymore. I would take a bet that in 50 years "soccer" will be called "football" in America as well and the USA will compete for the World Cup.
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame
You have a huge point with the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube etc. and some marketing things as well.

But just for the pure competition and ongoing excitement tennis is in fact better organized than almost all others sports. The small ATP/ITF animosities shouldn’t distract us from the whole picture.

We have the best matchups over and over again through the whole year. There are 14 tournaments where the best players in the world compete for the title. And the competitive season almost lasts for the whole year. Of course somebody skips something here and there, but that’s normally only for health/fitness reasons..

Now compare that to other sports:

Football:
Big matches are only in April and May for club football and every second year in the summer for national teams. Otherwise as a fan of a big team you’ll see a bunch of non-competitive matches against lesser teams (at least since money is everything and the already rich teams get only richer from year to year).

Athletics:
The top sprinters avoid each other for the whole season except the Olympics or World Championships just to take easy wins and money.

US Sports:
Regular season is irrelevant because there cannot be any tension. They play 82 games to find 16 teams who compete for the title. So good teams can take it easy after a few weeks, while those who have to fight for a playoff spot until the last games usually don’t have a further chance anyway.

Motor Sports:
This is the other extreme. The season is fair and evenly distributed with a points table, but there are no single highlights with peak hype.

The ATP Tour is very well balanced in my opinion. There a major highlights like the Slams and there is an endless race for points which makes every tournament relevant in a way.

As I said, not many sports have such a good organisation. Another example would be Winter Sports with the Olympics or World Championships as major events and the World Cup as regular tour. But then, it’s only a few months in the year of course. So for me, tennis is very much on top.

And with such a calendar there is no need for "Slam dunk contest" equivalents as well IMO.
I think you missed the point I'm making.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
@Otacon

I add to my previous post that the NBA Cafe was opened in Barcelona obviously because Pau Gasol (a Spanish professional basketball player who has played in the NBA since 2001) was born in Barcelona. It has nothing to do with your statement "the Americans are very strong at marketing."


 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
the 4 Slams won't cease power, and by whom the Davis Cup is governed should normally not be so important (oh well).

in our modern times there should still be ways to make the proadcasting (online) more user friendly / centralised. maybe they will manage it in the future.


tennis' popularity worldwide started decreasing in the mid/late 80s.

as for court homogenisation, what would you suggest to do? tennis is constantly evolving, players are getting taller and the serve becomes more dominant. that problem started during the mid/late 80s.


interesting comparison with the other sports. never thought much about that.

as for the match highlights and censoring/deleting nonsense on Youtube, that's of course unpleasant for us, but this marketing model is not exclusive to tennis. on the one hand would i assume they know what's most lucrative. on the other hand i've heard criticism of that approach as it's deemed bad for popularizing the sport further.
Is that statistically proven; my feeling is that the serve was more dominant when I was a kid when there were more fast courts and certainly shorter rallies. Seems to me the returners have somewhat blunted the big servers due to slower courts and racket/stringtechnology. I'm happy to be proven wrong but that is my casual impression. I didn't actually enjoy serve dominated tennis for all the brilliance of the volleying but I think its gone too far the other way now.
 

beltsman

Legend
The governing bodies of men's tennis suck, that's the reality. We have a very badly organized sport with no strong centralised body that oversees the whole thing.

I mean tennis should be a lot more popular than it is now, a whole lot than Hockey and up there with Basketball.

Maybe the ATP HQ should move to the US and the management be more americanized.

Why ? Because the Americans are very strong at marketing their sports. So, let's focus more on pro basketball in the US..

One of the first steps taken by the NBA was to facilitate the broadcasting of content. In fact, while the ATP and ITF are padlocking their content by thinking that people were going to come on their platforms, the NBA made the choice to distribute on all supports, by not giving all the exclusivity to a partner in order to keep a maximum of control and flexibility. The League quickly seized new online tools, by creating a League Pass, which allows you to watch all the matches without having to subscribe to a channel. In tennis, you have to have multiple subscriptions and the worst thing is that it can change every couple of years.

The NBA also announced a few years ago the broadcast of a virtual reality match every week. The NBA also encourages the live broadcast of certain matches or content on social media. Compare this to the ridiculously short highlights videos of tennis matches on Youtube ...

And beyond merchandising and events (Slam Dunk Contests, fashion shows, etc.) the NBA develops its touchpoints. In addition to its shops, the league has thus opened a concept bar dedicated to basketball in Barcelona, and a mini theme park in Shanghai. It also multiplies the academies dedicated to teaching basketball for the youngest all over the world.

So where does tennis stand today ? Light-years away from that.
You know something is wrong when a diehard tennis fan like myself has to hunt through different web pages to find out how to watch a match. If it's difficult for even die hard fans to watch tennis, then no way is the average consumer going to go out of their way to watch it. And you're right about the highlight packages.

Tennis has gone for exclusivity over exposure. Really, really dumb.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Tennis popularity has definitely dwindled in NA. Even though Canadians have some good players the last few years, it is not a big sport there either. Not sure about Australia.

some of the problem is definitely just lack of champs from these countries, but as I’ve stated elsewhere I think the ATP has grossly mismanaged their entertainment product with ever changing technology and conditions and the creation of this big 3/slam raced obsessed narrative
 

van_Loederen

Professional
Is that statistically proven; my feeling is that the serve was more dominant when I was a kid when there were more fast courts and certainly shorter rallies. Seems to me the returners have somewhat blunted the big servers due to slower courts and racket/stringtechnology. I'm happy to be proven wrong but that is my casual impression.
measures have been taken to mitigate the serve (slower courts and heavier balls). my post was in reply and i was asking something, but the poaster already chickened out i see. :rolleyes:
toby55555 said:
I didn't actually enjoy serve dominated tennis for all the brilliance of the volleying but I think its gone too far the other way now.
what "other way"? Serve domination and S&V game is not the same, so you need to be more specific.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
so now this is the ATP's fault? :-D
Yeah, it is. It’s a result of a number of factors including chosen media coverage, surface homogenization, technological changes, favorable scheduling and rule enforcement for top players, extreme prize money disparities meaning that top players have resources to afford the best healthcare, nutrition, coaching, training,travel conditions, analytics, while young players struggle to get by, etc etc. there are many more reasons, but I believe changing conditions are the reason we’ve had unprecedented prolonged dominance throughout the calendar year from 3 separate players over 16.5 calendar years
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame
do you believe this because you believe tennis is truely on par with those as a spectator sport or is it just your direct deduction from your assumption that its broadcasting is mishandled? :whistle:


i heard that basically there are not enough partners that pay enough for tennis content.


that might be the effect of them struggling to get bigger deals.
Tennis is a true global sport, unlike Hockey or Cricket.
Well, maybe not having enough partners has something to do with how bad tennis is run.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Tennis is a true global sport, unlike Hockey or Cricket.
Well, maybe not having enough partners has something to do with how bad tennis is run.
I wonder why Americans don't subscribe to Tennis TV, the official live video streaming service of the ATP Tour. :unsure:
(It doesn't show GS tournaments, because they are not ATP tournaments.)
 

van_Loederen

Professional
Tennis is a true global sport, unlike Hockey or Cricket.
Well, maybe not having enough partners has something to do with how bad tennis is run.
Judo is a global sport too, probably also Darts. doesn't mean they are big as spectator sports.
by all i've heard and what's happening in Europe for decades, my strong impression is that tennis is struggling to get good broadcasting contracts.

in absolute terms...
Tennis is bigger now than it ever was. They're doing great with what they can.
tennis surely has much more spectators than during the late 60s, but ~ALL~ sports boomed and tennis lost ground to others.
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame
Judo is a global sport too, probably also Darts. doesn't mean they are big as spectator sports.
by all i've heard and what's happening in Europe for decades, my strong impression is that tennis is struggling to get good broadcasting contracts.

in absolute terms...

tennis surely has much more spectators than during the late 60s, but ~ALL~ sports boomed and tennis lost ground to others.
We're only talking about high-profile sports here.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I imagine that the ATP is pretty happy with how tennis is selling, given that their annual revenue has quadrupled since 2004.

Tennis is on the decline as a participation sport in the Anglosphere, for a bunch of reasons, but as a global product it is going from strength to strength.
 

Robert F

Professional
I think one of the media issues at least in the US it that coverage is too focused on the big 3, Serena and then any American in the draw. I think media coverage should flip how they have been doing things during the beginning of an event especially in the Slams.

Often early on in tourneys they show the big guns. But the big guns are most likely going to win. They spend 10-15 minutes pregame... "This noob is #237 and really has to bring it if he is going to get a set against FILL IN BIG 3 PLAYER." Then big 3 player wins and then post game spend another 10-20 minutes saying how overall the big 3 guy played well unless he was bored. This happens while there is live tennis going on.

So instead, in the early rounds of tournaments, look for close match ups, interesting match-ups, Feature these players and watch most of that match. Then if something dramatic is going on with a Big 3 match, give some cross coverage (set points, match points, cool points...or if the big 3 player is actually losing).

I think focusing on other players in the early rounds will help build a bigger and better fan base. Fans can get invested in other up and comping players because we actually get to see their match and actual coverage so we know more about them as opposed to these players only being shown late in the tournament often as an afterthought.

Maybe if they cover other players more, the general population in the US will know who other tennis players are besided Fed/Nadal and Serena. Also, you might be more interested to watch a quarterfinal with an up and comer if you actually saw how they got through the draw.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I think one of the media issues at least in the US it that coverage is too focused on the big 3, Serena and then any American in the draw. I think media coverage should flip how they have been doing things during the beginning of an event especially in the Slams.

Often early on in tourneys they show the big guns. But the big guns are most likely going to win. They spend 10-15 minutes pregame... "This noob is #237 and really has to bring it if he is going to get a set against FILL IN BIG 3 PLAYER." Then big 3 player wins and then post game spend another 10-20 minutes saying how overall the big 3 guy played well unless he was bored. This happens while there is live tennis going on.

So instead, in the early rounds of tournaments, look for close match ups, interesting match-ups, Feature these players and watch most of that match. Then if something dramatic is going on with a Big 3 match, give some cross coverage (set points, match points, cool points...or if the big 3 player is actually losing).

I think focusing on other players in the early rounds will help build a bigger and better fan base. Fans can get invested in other up and comping players because we actually get to see their match and actual coverage so we know more about them as opposed to these players only being shown late in the tournament often as an afterthought.

Maybe if they cover other players more, the general population in the US will know who other tennis players are besided Fed/Nadal and Serena. Also, you might be more interested to watch a quarterfinal with an up and comer if you actually saw how they got through the draw.
This is all ignoring the actual problem. You're talking about how the station covers tennis during the events. But nobody is watching to begin with. The average American sports fan would have no idea if ESPN2 is showing Federer or Shapovalov during a random tuesday night of the US Open, because they're over on TNT watching the NBA or their local channel watching baseball.

After a slam final is played you're lucky to even hear about it on sports radio. SportsCenter will barely give it coverage because it has to focus on the status of LeBron's ankle or whatever Antonio Brown is up to.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
From their end homogenization makes sense. Why have some of your stars only be competitive for 1/4 to 1/2 of the season?
so that you can have different stars and times of year to keep people interested and different seasons. Unlike a sport which rewards the season with 1 end of year trophy, tennis needs to give fans reason to care about many different events. In this era, what makes any of the slams special or different from one another for fans to care about as more than just 1 more big title for their favorite?
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
^ the ATP doesn't decide what the Slams are doing. that's one reason for the very problem the OP depicts
I am phone posting about tennis governance in general. Sponsors and media entities and ineffective players council all also share some blame for current state of affairs. Add ITF to my comments and infer what you need
 

Robert F

Professional
This is all ignoring the actual problem. You're talking about how the station covers tennis during the events. But nobody is watching to begin with. The average American sports fan would have no idea if ESPN2 is showing Federer or Shapovalov during a random tuesday night of the US Open, because they're over on TNT watching the NBA or their local channel watching baseball.

After a slam final is played you're lucky to even hear about it on sports radio. SportsCenter will barely give it coverage because it has to focus on the status of LeBron's ankle or whatever Antonio Brown is up to.
Can't disagree.

This might sound counter intuitive, but maybe the answer is showing less tennis but hyping a match of the day and showing that live in its entirety and then having a highlight show either before or after the main match showing other results and key parts of other matches. Maybe not for the slams but for the smaller tournaments.

You would have the media hyping the match of the day to garner interest. The preshow would go over current results and create the drama/history for the match of the day. Post match might show best highlights of the day and then start feeding the next days match of the day.

Between the Masters and Slams, often on Tennis Channel they just put on whatever match is live. There is no real hype/selling the match. It's just on. Many other sports are really good about selling the rivalry or hype the game. I think adding hype will add depth to players outside of the big 3.

If you took a match of the day concept, ideally tournaments and tennis in general would try to hype it on local and national media.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Can't disagree.

This might sound counter intuitive, but maybe the answer is showing less tennis but hyping a match of the day and showing that live in its entirety and then having a highlight show either before or after the main match showing other results and key parts of other matches. Maybe not for the slams but for the smaller tournaments.

You would have the media hyping the match of the day to garner interest. The preshow would go over current results and create the drama/history for the match of the day. Post match might show best highlights of the day and then start feeding the next days match of the day.

Between the Masters and Slams, often on Tennis Channel they just put on whatever match is live. There is no real hype/selling the match. It's just on. Many other sports are really good about selling the rivalry or hype the game. I think adding hype will add depth to players outside of the big 3.

If you took a match of the day concept, ideally tournaments and tennis in general would try to hype it on local and national media.
I firmly believe it's as simple as not having any good Americans to get excited about it. The last American that mainstream sports fans knew was Andy Roddick and he retired nearly 8 years ago. And he wasn't particularly relevant after about 2006. So there wasn't anything to hype up. There's no jumping off point to hook the casual fan who doesn't care about the Big 3.

And there's another reason other sports can do hype better. They know who is going to be playing! Tennis can't hype up a match more than 24 hours in advance because we don't know who the players are going to be. ESPN runs commercials on a tuesday to tell us who is playing on Sunday Night Baseball. Monday Night Football is already promoting their next game by the 3rd quarter of the current game.
 

tonylg

Legend
Can't disagree.

This might sound counter intuitive, but maybe the answer is showing less tennis but hyping a match of the day and showing that live in its entirety and then having a highlight show either before or after the main match showing other results and key parts of other matches. Maybe not for the slams but for the smaller tournaments.

You would have the media hyping the match of the day to garner interest. The preshow would go over current results and create the drama/history for the match of the day. Post match might show best highlights of the day and then start feeding the next days match of the day.

Between the Masters and Slams, often on Tennis Channel they just put on whatever match is live. There is no real hype/selling the match. It's just on. Many other sports are really good about selling the rivalry or hype the game. I think adding hype will add depth to players outside of the big 3.

If you took a match of the day concept, ideally tournaments and tennis in general would try to hype it on local and national media.
That's what team tennis does. During ATP Cup, Lajovic, Evans, Struff, Ruud, etc were watched because people were interested in the contest and took interest in the players as a result. Millman went to hero status here with his performances. Once people "buy in" they'll then watch the players in other tournaments rather than simply switch to a rerun of Friends because they don't know anyone other than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
 

Robert F

Professional
I wonder if tournaments beyond the Masters and Slams, had some additional value that would be hypeable. Could we somehow link smaller tournaments to the bigger ones beyond just points?
Maybe slam entry should give preference to tournament winners first and then points? Masters winner > 500 > 250 for open spots then points for any other openings. You'd link tournaments before the slams to that particular slam.

This could make the Paris Master valuable if it was linked to getting a good spot in OZ.
So you'd create tournament series feeding into the slams and maybe to the ATP finals?

Imagine that the winner of Del Ray was fighting for a guaranteed spot/seed for an upcoming Masters or to a slam? Maybe more big names would show up too.
 
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