What is the point of the Tennis Channel?

fedfan08

Professional
OK we've got live tennis going on in Auckland, Brisbane, Perth (Hopman Cup), Chennai and Doha and we get next to nothing live on Tennis Channel. Right now they're showing the US Open final. :rolleyes:

They're showing a couple Hopman Cup matches live on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday but the rest of their schedule is all tape delay. In fact on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they're showing the Abu Dhabi exho from this past week(end). They are showing SF/F of Brisbane and F of Auckland but all on tape delay. How expensive can it be to show the OneHD, or Ten (or whatever other Aussie station is broadcasting) feed on TTC? The Golf Channel doesn't seem to have a problem showing live golf from Europe, Middle East or Asia in the middle of the night. Yet on TTC we get paid programming until 6AM when they're showing a re-run of the Hopman Cup from last year! :rolleyes:

I'm sick and tired of being told to be thankful for the crumbs we get. Or directed to some crappy live stream that may or may not work and certainly isn't equivalent to HD. If TTC can't show more live tennis then quite honestly there is no point to it. It's not like they have a ton of original programming that everyone is dying to see. Ooh can't wait for the next episode of Tennis Channel Academy or Fit to Hit. Maybe if they broadcast more live tennis they wouldn't be relegated to some cable sports tier that you have to pay extra for. :rolleyes:
 

t135

Professional
On the other hand, some people like me, thoroughly enjoy the tennis channel as is. The golf channel however is lame. Long way to go and a short time to get there.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
TTC shows plenty of live tennis. Where else on TV can you see all the Masters Series and the WTC, as well as Davis Cup, all live?

Oh, and it costs a lot of money to buy the rights to broadcast live tournaments. So maybe you'd like to donate a few million dollars to TTC so they can show even more live tennis?
 
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DNShade

Hall of Fame
As someone who has had and is having meetings over at TC about future programing - I have asked and made perfectly clear some of the very same issues I see raised out here all the time - and I brought up some of my own problems. They are aware of most of them and trying to make it better. The problem is the bottom line as always.

And a real problem is that - as strange as it may sound - the reality is that a rebroadcast of an old match featuring Fed, Nadal, or even Andre will probably pull as good if not better ratings than early round live matches of current tour events. But they are trying to cover as much as they can - and every year they cover more and more events...They just have a budget they have to work with.

And unlike the Golf Channel which is owned by a major cable company - and is carried as part of basic cable in most areas (which is the basis for a current lawsuit) Tennis Channel isn't carried as cheaply or as widely.
 

fedfan08

Professional
As someone who has had and is having meetings over at TC about future programing - I have asked and made perfectly clear some of the very same issues I see raised out here all the time - and I brought up some of my own problems. They are aware of most of them and trying to make it better. The problem is the bottom line as always.

And a real problem is that - as strange as it may sound - the reality is that a rebroadcast of an old match featuring Fed, Nadal, or even Andre will probably pull as good if not better ratings than early round live matches of current tour events. But they are trying to cover as much as they can - and every year they cover more and more events...They just have a budget they have to work with.

And unlike the Golf Channel which is owned by a major cable company - and is carried as part of basic cable in most areas (which is the basis for a current lawsuit) Tennis Channel isn't carried as cheaply or as widely.
Thanks for this. Great information. It's just frustrating year after year to hear the same thing - they don't have the $$$, be grateful for what you get, etc. - and nothing ever seems to change. It's just frustrating to constantly have to be looking for crappy live streams to watch tournaments.
 

Topaz

Legend
It does change though...in recent years we've gotten more coverage at the slams with TC. It just changes...slowly! ;).
 

fedfan08

Professional
TTC shows plenty of live tennis. Where else on TV can you see all the Masters Series and the WTC, as well as Davis Cup, all live?

Oh, and it costs a lot of money to buy the rights to broadcast live tournaments. So maybe you'd like to donate a few million dollars to TTC so they can show even more live tennis?
It's just hard when there's live tennis out there and you have a tennis channel and all they're showing is re-runs. tennistv.com has coverage of Brisbane later in the week, but it's blacked out to those in the USA. I assumed that was because TTC would be showing the matches. They are, but all on tape delay that weekend. Every year it's the same thing about $$$. Isn't there some wealthy businessperson who's also a tennis fan that can come to the rescue? I mean the billionare from Oracle just recently bought the IW event and has made a bunch of improvements to it. You'd think there would be something TTC could to on that front to woo more investment.
 
I personally think TC does a pretty great job given it is, like someone pointed out, expensive to buy the rights to broadcast live sports (although I confess I am ignorant about the exact details: what if a channel does not want exclusive rights i.e. 2 stations broadcast simultaneously like it happens occasionally at the Grand Slams - ESPN and TC). Plus, they show many events that are quite obscure, only the final rounds though.

I must say that some of the re-runs are quite bizarre. They show dull, routine Fed Cup matches in the middle of a Slam, for instance (when there is no live tennis). They should show old Miami matches during Miami, old Davis Cup matches during Davis Cup etc. I also hate how ESPN and TC keep juggling live windows during Slams. Usually TC shows more interesting matches while ESPN will show every excruciating minute of a 6-0, 6-1 beatdown by Serena or Venus, complete with exhaustive pre and post-match analyses.

Plus, remember that most courts at all events do not have TV cameras during early rounds.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I think TTC has improved immensely since it started and often is fantastic. Sitll far from perfect, but when the networks and basic cable channels such as ESPN have abandoned tennis more and more, i'm thankful for TTC.

TTC should really be part of a base cable package like Golf Channel.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
TTC has to face lots of opposition. I think right now they are engaged in a legal battle with Comcast which refused to add them to a basic sports package. Tennis has to keep fighting to get a foothold.
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
let me just say, i LOVE the TC. but... BUT.... the TTC-HD is satellite only! W T F!

TTC-HD is like a godsend, all masters in HD*...

*(satellite required, comes with ugly dish, sh*t reception, and clunky interface)
 

Pwned

Hall of Fame
They could be a lot better, I agree with the OP. They have too many garbage shows and repeat them too many times. More live tennis and more classic matches.
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
No Strings and Destination Tennis (Mieke Buchann ONLY!) were fine programs. (especially no strings!)

I like the insight into the backstage of the tour. and Mika's legs.. oh damn
 
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TBrady

Banned
let me just say, i LOVE the TC. but... BUT.... the TTC-HD is satellite only! W T F!

TTC-HD is like a godsend, all masters in HD*...

*(satellite required, comes with ugly dish, sh*t reception, and clunky interface)

Personally I deal with the DirectTv satellite on the roof because of all of the HD channels they offer. Tennis Channel could be better but sometimes ESPN or Fox Sports will pick up tournaments all in HD
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
Destination tennis being the case and point

Hey, you better hope Mieke doesnt hear you say that, she will strangle you.
(I know it is a new chick now, but i am ever faithful to Buchan)

legs!
images
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
They could be a lot better, I agree with the OP. They have too many garbage shows and repeat them too many times. More live tennis and more classic matches.

More live tennis and less reruns requires more money. As simple as that.

I would suggest that all tennis equipment manufacturers, the USTA, and tennis distributors like TW contribute to Tennis Channel on a regular basis, either through donations or by purchasing ads.
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
More live tennis and less reruns requires more money. As simple as that.

I would suggest that all tennis equipment manufacturers, the USTA, and tennis distributors like TW contribute to Tennis Channel on a regular basis, either through donations or by purchasing ads.

That is a phenomenal idea. I think that they do though. Like during the FO this year, all the little court reports and small segments were "brought to you by Babolat" and Prince had that "position" for a few months too.

But sustained sponsorship would be very helpful for them. lol maybe even Federer could sponsor them (the money is there haha)
 

Tony48

Legend
I was just thinking about this. I didn't go out and seek the matches on a live stream but I probably would have watched some of the recent ones on TC.
 

Tony48

Legend
let me just say, i LOVE the TC. but... BUT.... the TTC-HD is satellite only! W T F!

TTC-HD is like a godsend, all masters in HD*...

*(satellite required, comes with ugly dish, sh*t reception, and clunky interface)

I had Time Warner Digital Cable and IIRC, TTC-HD was on there.

But Time Warner had like 3 HD channels at the time (lol) but I have DirecTV now.
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
I had Time Warner Digital Cable and IIRC, TTC-HD was on there.

But Time Warner had like 3 HD channels at the time (lol) but I have DirecTV now.

I have TW in charlotte and have not seen any trace of TTC-HD. maybe i will try again.

Thanks for letting me know that they HAD it though :)
 

TBrady

Banned
More live tennis and less reruns requires more money. As simple as that.

I would suggest that all tennis equipment manufacturers, the USTA, and tennis distributors like TW contribute to Tennis Channel on a regular basis, either through donations or by purchasing ads.

I suggest you make donations.
 

Pwned

Hall of Fame
More live tennis and less reruns requires more money. As simple as that.

I would suggest that all tennis equipment manufacturers, the USTA, and tennis distributors like TW contribute to Tennis Channel on a regular basis, either through donations or by purchasing ads.
Ah, so it's ok. No need to let them know their shows are garbage.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
I feel like they scaled back hopman cup coverage, I remember 2 years ago they covered the whole tourney live

but once the tour gets going they have decent coverage...you can't blame them for not having the money to buy every tournament.

you can blame them for having classic matches from DC and Masters events the last ten years and NEVER playing them. if there is no live tennis on any given day there should be 3-4 classic matches on, and I'm not talking 2008 grand slam final which everyone has seen and remembers. dig up a diamond!
 

JRstriker12

Hall of Fame
Thanks for this. Great information. It's just frustrating year after year to hear the same thing - they don't have the $$$, be grateful for what you get, etc. - and nothing ever seems to change. It's just frustrating to constantly have to be looking for crappy live streams to watch tournaments.

I agree it could be better, but IIRC, I think TC traded away money to cover smaller tournaments to fund more in-depth coverage of the slams.

Also, it isn't always as simple as just money. International TV rights come into play also. For example, as a fan of US soccer, there have been times where matches played overseas were not available because some international broadcaster had rights and were asking stupidly high rates if a US broadcaster wanted to buy. There may be a similar situation with some tennis tournaments like the Doha Exhibition.

It's easy to complain, but the real deal is, there would be very little tennis on TV at all without TC. Outside of the Grandslams or maybe 2-3 Masters finals, you wouldn't see any tennis on ESPN or other broadcast or sports networks.

Keep in mind that the ATP had to BUY TV TIME on ESPN and ABC for the Sony Ericsson Open and Indian Wells because those tournaments were getting such poor treatment from Fox. CBS is also working to reduce the fees they pay for the US open.

The fact that major tournaments had to BUY time on TV and the US Open is being seen as a falling TV commodity tells you all you need to know about the niche market for tennis broadcasting at this point. ( http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/67320)
 

seffina

G.O.A.T.
I don't have TTC in HD either. It's a shame. But it's part of the standards sports pack so I am not paying anything extra.

I think it's completely worth it. They've increased their hours of live tennis coverage every year, so I'm happy with it.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I don't have TTC in HD either. It's a shame. But it's part of the standards sports pack so I am not paying anything extra.

I think it's completely worth it. They've increased their hours of live tennis coverage every year, so I'm happy with it.

I have it in HD. The players appear shorter and fatter.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
Wait, WHAT?? I had Comcast till August of last year, and it was just $5 extra for the sports package.
It's now been raised to $7 for the Sports Package. :(

I hope TTC wins its lawsuit against Comcast so Comcast is forced to offer TTC on its basic tier without having to add the Sports Package since TTC is the only channel out of the 20 or so in the package that I ever watch anyway.
 

darrinbaker00

Professional
More live tennis and less reruns requires more money. As simple as that.

I would suggest that all tennis equipment manufacturers, the USTA, and tennis distributors like TW contribute to Tennis Channel on a regular basis, either through donations or by purchasing ads.

The USTA is a minority owner of Tennis Channel, which is why it baffles me that they don't broadcast USTA Challenger and national Junior tournaments.
 

JoelDali

Talk Tennis Guru
Racquetball?? I'm watching racquetball on the Tennis Channel? It's on right now!

I don't get it.

I LOL'd when the announcer said, "I'm joined by @#$@ #$@#, the greatest raquetball player of all time..."

And I wondered if 3.5 jackasses across the world fight about that claim somewhere on a Raquetball forum.

Probably.
 

dlk

Hall of Fame
I LOL'd when the announcer said, "I'm joined by @#$@ #$@#, the greatest raquetball player of all time..."

And I wondered if 3.5 jackasses across the world fight about that claim somewhere on a Raquetball forum.

Probably.

Nice, probably so :)
 

Carolina Racquet

Professional
It's amazing Tennis Channel was able to wrestle away the broadcast rights to that racquetball event from ESPN 8... "the ocho".

I'd much rather watch Danielle Dotzenrod do squats on "Fit to Hit".
 
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