Monday, June 30, 2008

As always, U.S. coverage is nonsensical

Today, for an hour, there was no Wimbledon coverage on television in the U.S. During that hour, Mario Ancic and Fernando Verdasco were engaged in what may have been the biggest thriller on the men's side so far. That match had ended by the time coverage resumed on NBC, but it would not have mattered because NBC showed the Serena Williams/Bethanie Mattek match, which had already concluded.

It is really hard for me to believe that American tennis fans (meaning, people who watch for more than five minutes) did not want to watch Svetlana Kuznetsova play Agnieszka Radwanska or Elena Dementieva play Shahar Peer...or how about Rafael Nadal, who was playing on Court 1?

We could just as well watch Serena Williams and Bethanie Mattek in the late afternoon or at night, when all play has been completed. I'm glad I subscribe to Wimbledon Live. If I didn't, I'd be miserable about now.


Anonymous said...

The coverage is horrible as usual. I love that tennis gets the boot for NASCAR or a soap opera.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog, Diane.

You know this, but the only way to explain NBC/ESPNs coverage decisions is that they are trying to reach the broadest audience possible ... so they feature and talk about American players the most.

They probably figure most Americans don't know an "ova" from an "eva" or an "ina" from an "adze", so why bother?

(p.s. thank god for Radio Wimbledon, too...I turned down the TV and listen to the coverage online)

Diane said...

The problem with that theory we assume the networks have, though, Anon, is that people who don't care about tennis probably aren't going to stay long anyway, even if Venus is playing Andy Roddick. I have to wonder is there is any real market research to back what they're doing. If so, then I take back my criticism of NBC and lay it on U.S. tennis fans.

I listen to Radio Wimbledon, too.

And thanks!

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