Posted on: June 17, 2009 5:17 pm
OK. We have less than a week to go before the next big tennis tournament. Once again, I am left wondering if Tennis Channel will bombard us with useless trivia (anyone for more comments on hair products?), or will they actually talk tennis? More to the point, will we see any tennis? I shudder. They did well in Australia, but they've tanked on the others (except those not covered together with NBC). I'm going to wait and see, but I'm nervous. PLEASE do better than you did at the French, you guys!!!
Posted on: June 3, 2009 1:06 pm
ESPN and Tennis Channel are really dropping the ball here. Tennis Channel started its coverage at 8 and showed both the Williams v Kunetsova and Federer v Monfils matches live. This is good. However, matches didn't end at noon EDT. There was still the Del Potro v Robredo match to watch. So, what does ESPN do? They replay the Williams v Kuznetsova match which finished not two hours earlier! And this match will be replayed ad nauseum all day.
Good grief, ESPN! As the premier sports network, I expect exhaustive coverage, not repetitive coverage. The fans deserve so much better and more than what these networks are offering, and it's especially disappointing that the Tennis channel doesn't get it when it's supposedly founded by people who disdained the regular networks' coverage. MLB Network does it sooooo much better: morning updates, reviews of games, historical analyses.... Tennis Channel gives us Murphy Jensen. ESPN gives us repeats. Why can't we have 15-30 minute morning newscasts at Tennis Channel? Why can't we have better productions, too? Tennis Channel has been around long enough to figure out how to do this. It has chosen not to do so.
In the meantime, the fan suffers from boredom by being shown matches over and over again, as if live coverage isn't available. I expect that from ESPN because it covers a lot of sports, but NOT when ESPN claims to be "picking up" coverage from the other channel. I certainly DO NOT expect it from Tennis Channel, when tennis is supposedly all it's supposed to do.
What are your thoughts?
Posted on: June 2, 2009 2:29 pm
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?