Posted on: June 2, 2009 2:29 pm

Sports Networks Can Be Whack

Yes, I've been away for a while.  My apologies.  Looking for a job makes you hate being on a computer for any longer than you have to be.
Anyway, I love tennis.  So, it should be no surprise that I watch every match I can.  I'm partial to the men's game because it's much faster, the play and athletics really are superior, and I can do without the shrieks as if the girl is having her first sexual experience.  And except for Serena, very few women are willing to put in the work and actually work on the court.
However, I digress.  My main issues with the broadcasters of the French Open:
1.  The Tennis Channel/NBC/ESPN:  Is it necessary to speak ALL THE TIME?  I don't want to hear about hair products, cars players drive, issues from 20 years ago, or anything that does not relate to the match at hand.  Save the other commentary for post-match.2.  "Home of the Slams"?  Tennis Channel can claim this title once it can show the events live without deferring to NBC which will nonetheless show a match on delay (e.g., Nadal v Soderling) when there is no reason to do so.  NBC decided to show 3 hours of filler programming ranging from paid programming to local affiliate programming.  As a result, fans had to hear about the final score way before the NBC broadcast (which was truncated) and on French Open radio.  Good job there, Guys.3.  Dead Wood:  It's bad enough that Tennis Channel kept Gimelstob, who adds as much value to the sport and to sports broadcasting in general as Tony Kornheiser did, but the worst is the interview period on the women's side.  It's un-watchable.  The girl with the deer in the headlights look (whose name I have never bothered to learn) is awful.  Does she have any credentials that merit her being on TV at all?  She doesn't know what to ask.  She has not done research.  She seems to be waiting for the director to feed her questions.  This is the channel that boasted having Martina and Johnnie Mac.  They are getting Jimmy Connors to do commentary during the US Open.  And this is the best you can do?4.  Priorities:  What is the point of breaking away from a major match or NOT showing it all (as they did with Federer and Nadal matches) to stay watching non-entities?  Last week I wanted to throttle someone.  Djockovic is playing for his life, and we had to hear about it.  It was shown in highlights later.5.  Post Match Interviews:  Why do we get snippets?  Why doesn't Tennis Channel provide a feed on it's website to show the interviews?  They can get these rights.  It's annoying to hear the broadcasters talk about the interview and maybe show a highlight.  I also love how they flub the quotes.  Nice that.
In short, UGH.
Slowly but surely, the broadcasters are hurting these games more and forcing people to go to the internet.  I don't mind paying a few dollars to watch a match without the inane commentary.  I especially like seeing the match I want to see and not having to wait until NBC deems it appropriate to show.
How do you feel?
Category: Tennis
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com