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Fault!: Network Tennis Coverage


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#1

JuanitaSmi

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Posted Mar 18, 2004 @ 2:53 PM

I'm a big Andre Agassi fan. But I'm also a big tennis fan. You too?

Am I the only one wondering why, during the Pacific Life Open, when there are only 6 hours of tennis shown a day, ESPN sees fit to repeat matches they aired the day before? Would it be so hard to show us a Marat Safin match live rather than giving in to the urge to show a repeat of Andre's win the night before?

The Tennis Masters series has all of the top men's players. So it's not as if there aren't great matches happening all day. Plus, the PacLife Open also features the women's tour (although most of the top players are fighting injuries now).

Edited by JuanitaSmi, Mar 18, 2004 @ 3:12 PM.

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#2

TonyBoy123

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Posted Mar 18, 2004 @ 10:50 PM

I agree that ESPN has a slavish devotion to showing all matches showcasing Agassi and Roddick, however, I don't think it has been that bad so far at the Pacific Life Open. It is nothing like what they did during the Australian Open.

So far it seems like they have had a featured match involving whoever is on the schedule, and have resorted to showing a replay of an Agassi or Roddick match if the featured match runs short. Like today they showed the Federer-Chela match, when it ran short they repeated the Roddick match from last night.

That being said, does Patrick McEnroe bug anyone else? I find him annoying and arrogant. He seems totally bias in favor of all the American players. I know he is the Davis Cup captain, but I think he should dial it down while he is commentating.
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#3

JuanitaSmi

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Posted Mar 19, 2004 @ 8:49 AM

I like Patrick McEnroe but there is a saying: "no rooting in the press box" and he definitely lets friendships and Davis Cup captaining get the better of him. His pure joy in watching Agassi always shines. But in his defense, he can provide technical analysis of the non-Americans' game(s) as well.

I was impressed that last night after Agassi's match, they re-aired the Chela-Federer match. Because I'm working, and in the Midwest, I am only catching the night matches. So when they air the same night match as they showed live the previous night, I never see new tennis.

But I don't think I've seen a single women's match at this tournament. Tonite, however, is women's.
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#4

Jer2002

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Posted Mar 26, 2004 @ 11:05 PM

That being said, does Patrick McEnroe bug anyone else? I find him annoying and arrogant. He seems totally bias in favor of all the American players. I know he is the Davis Cup captain, but I think he should dial it down while he is commentating.


God, no kidding! I'm an American but I hate his bias towards Roddick and Agassi. I about wanted to hit him when he gave Safin very little props for beating both of them at The Aussie Open. He even called the fact that Safin was able to take cuts at Aggasi's serve a joke. You know Pat, it is possible!

Edited by Jer2002, Mar 26, 2004 @ 11:06 PM.

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#5

TonyBoy123

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Posted Mar 27, 2004 @ 4:32 PM

Does Patrick McEnroe really believe that the American audience can't appreciate great players from all countries. I mean I'm an American and I love seeing the US players doing well, but more importantly I like to see great competition regardless of where the competitors come from.

He even called the fact that Safin was able to take cuts at Aggasi's serve a joke.  You know Pat, it is possible!


Didn't Safin win the US Open a couple of years ago? Beating (GASP!) an American, named Sampras something. I remember that match and Safin blew him away. So it stands to reason that He could handle Agassi's serve. Especially considering that Agassi has never been known as a big server.

I don't know about anyone else but a lot of my favorite players are foreigners. Federer is one of the best players I have ever seen, and I loved watching Martina Hingis before she retired. Tennis is a global sport and should be covered as such. I mean if the NBA can market foreign stars like Peja Stojakovic and Yao Ming, why can't TPTB in Tennis do the same.
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#6

Jer2002

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Posted Apr 2, 2004 @ 7:52 PM

You know, after she beat Venus, I totally expected to see Elena Dementieva's semifinal last night. What did I see instead? A fucking REPLAY of the Roddick/Moya match from earlier in the day. God I hate the Network Suits a lot sometimes.
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#7

JuanitaSmi

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Posted Apr 9, 2004 @ 10:47 AM

From Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated:

This quoted from www.tennis-x.com: "Why is ESPN-U.S. showing tape of the ... Jen vs. Daniilidou match during rain delays when you've got Rafael 'The Prodigy' Nadal beating world No. 1 Roger Federer in the box? Note to ESPN: Stop killing tennis. Even Americans are getting sick of seeing these crap matches when there are other superior non-American matches going on." Exactly. I love tennis, but I am tired of seeing Serena Williams absolutely thrash hapless opponents. However, the tournament schedule guaranteed that her matches were always televised last week. For over a year, I've heard about Nadal, but I've only seen ONE of his matches on television. I know ESPN has been taking some heat from fans, but if this is the network's response, I'm unsure if we'll ever see a solution.
-- Chris Mahoney, Kingston, Ontario


You're preaching to the choir. ESPN's choice of coverage is painfully short-sighted. It alienates passionate fans because you guys would rather see a competitive match than watch Serena win 6-1, 6-1. It alienates casual fans because all they see are the same five players blitzing no-names in straight sets. In a perverse way, you almost hope there's some soulless market research/focus group to justify these decisions because it is too scary to think that someone is making them voluntarily. Not that they have a whole lot of leverage, but it would be nice to see the tours, the events and the USTA address these concerns at the next round of negotiations. Meanwhile, you guys should keep applying pressure.


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#8

sirhcmeister

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Posted Apr 11, 2004 @ 6:03 PM

It's really unfortunate, but hardly surprising.

The fact that players like Roger Federer, J.C. Ferrero, Guillermo Coria, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin-Hardenne still cause a "hunh? who?" amongst the majority of ESPN viewers is quite sad, especially considering they're all top 5 players.

I noticed too that when Gustavo Kuerten and Lleyton Hewitt were at Number #1, their respective coverage was not that great either. Almost zero attention.

The problem is once American fans actually come visit the tour events in the U.S., they're clueless as to who is competing, aside from the American players such as Roddick, WilliamsX2, Capriati, etc.

Golf is an excellent example where the international flavour of its competitors has been much better embraced by the media- with Spain (Sergio Garcia), South Africa (Ernie Els), Canada (Mike Weir), Fiji (Vijay Singh), Australia (Stuart Appleby), Korea (KJ Choi), Argentina (Angel Cabrerra), etc etc......
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#9

Jer2002

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Posted Apr 11, 2004 @ 7:10 PM

Ugh, note to self: Stop watching Davis Cup! I couldn't stand all the ass kissing comming from the booth, that I actually was cheering for Sweden.
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#10

JuanitaSmi

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Posted Apr 11, 2004 @ 7:36 PM

Jer2002: LOL!
I was watching doubles last night since we so rarely get to see men's doubles and I wanted to root for the Bryan twins. But yeah, I know what you mean.

Also interesting that women's tennis (without a Williams sister) was being shown last night too. I wish I had known Lindsay was in the final today, I would've taped it so I could watch later. *sigh* When I watched it, Lindsay wasn't doing well against Petrova.

ETA: Congrats, Lindsay! Wish I had watched/taped it. Grrr Argh!

Adding on 4/19 that I watched tennis on ESPN yesterday and women were playing. Venus won her first tournament in 15 months. Woo hoo!
I hope this thread generates more interest during the French Open. *sigh* only a few more weeks to go.

Edited by JuanitaSmi, Apr 19, 2004 @ 10:18 AM.

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#11

sirhcmeister

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 7:08 PM

it's very possible now that Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne will be forced to withdraw from the French Open due to injury and illness respectively. Certainly, it now opens the draw for Venus and Serena Williams, as well as Amelie Mauresmo, and maybe Jennifer Capriati , Vera Znoereva, etc.
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#12

JuanitaSmi

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Posted May 13, 2004 @ 9:43 AM

And on that note, apparently Martina Navratilova decided it would be worth her time to play the French Open.

Added on 5/24:
Can't believe Andre went out in the first round. To a qualifier no less. *sigh*

Anyone else catch Patrick McEnroe calling Dick Enberg "Cliff" earlier this morning? Hee.

Edited by JuanitaSmi, May 24, 2004 @ 3:10 PM.

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#13

TonyBoy123

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Posted May 24, 2004 @ 9:47 PM

Agassi's OUT Agassi's OUT! Oh man it looks like it's just going to be the Andy Show until he gets knocked out.

Did ESPN show any live tennis today? I was watching for a couple of hours before I checked out the results on the internet and realized that all the matches I was watching were already completed.

They started the Roddick-Martin match from the beginning even though by that time Roddick had already taken the first set. I'd rather have seen that match live even though the first set was already over.

When they advertise live tennis I want to see LIVE tennis. Do these people know about the internet? You never see any other sporting event on a tape delay. Sorry for my rant I take my tennis a little too seriously.
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#14

Jer2002

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Posted May 24, 2004 @ 11:38 PM

I totally forgot to set the VCR to tape the matches while I'm at work and now I'm totally regretting it. Were the commentators still trying to kiss Agassi's ass despite the fact that he LOST. Hee, I'm so over him. What women's matches were shown if any? Dick Enberg is in the booth now eh? Interesting.
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#15

Tartlet

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Posted May 25, 2004 @ 3:13 PM

The tape delay of matches drives me absolutely insane most of the time as well. However, in some cases....like yesterday...it comes in handy.

I turned on the Agassi match yesterday at the start of the third set. After Haehnel (sp?) went up 3 games to 1, I figured out that the match was not being televised live and decided to go online and get the results. Since I'm pretty much tired of anything Agassi these days, I figured why bother investing my time to see him pull out a victory in the 4th or 5th set. Instead I confirmed that he lost the match in 3 sets and decided that it was in fact worth my time to watch the rest of the match and see "most shocking (read: satisfying) upset ever".

Anyone know if they showed Hewitt's match today? Unless it was a loss, I'm guessing not bloody likely.
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#16

crimsongrl

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Posted May 25, 2004 @ 3:30 PM

Sorry, no Hewitt, just highlights. Today was pretty much the American women and that men's match that lasted 6:30 hours (Santoro & Clement (sp?)). Not to mention about an hour was wasted showing the Navratalova match when I could have been watching Capriati comeback in the third set.

Edited by crimsongrl, May 25, 2004 @ 3:33 PM.

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#17

Jer2002

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Posted May 25, 2004 @ 4:41 PM

No, they didn't show the Hewitt match. Of course, I tuned in late on the lil work TV :) They only showed a couple of highlights. The coverage I saw was all about the Williams Sisters, Capriati, and Navratilova.

I hate that they're giving Brad Gilbert all this fucking camera time to do all this coulda woulda shoulda about Andy Blahdicks potential opponents. Since I tuned in late, does anyone know if they showed my boy Juan Carlos Ferrero on any of this ESPN coverage?

Edited by Jer2002, May 26, 2004 @ 4:54 AM.

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#18

TonyBoy123

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Posted May 25, 2004 @ 9:17 PM

Since I tuned in late, does anyone know if they showed my boy Juan Carlos Ferrero on any of this ESPN coverage?


All I saw were highlights. It seems that we will not see any significant coverage of any of the foreign players unless the Americans are out. It is a shame. I think that most tennis fans would like to see great tennis regardless of where the players come from.

Not to mention about an hour was wasted showing the Navratalova match when I could have been watching Capriati comeback in the third set.


No kidding! Why oh why would any one want to watch a taped match when a live match featuring a top seed and former champion in a tight three set match is going on. I don't get this, and Capriati is even an American. ESPN is making terrible decisions left and right. Do they think that they are going to get more viewers by pissing us off.

Edited by TonyBoy123, May 25, 2004 @ 9:19 PM.

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#19

crimsongrl

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Posted May 26, 2004 @ 1:07 AM

Not to mention about an hour was wasted showing the Navratalova match when I could have been watching Capriati comeback in the third set.

Yes, I just quoted myself. :)

Well, I was able to catch the majority of that Capriati match on the Today at the French Open wrap up show on ESPN2 tonight. It's usually on at 10pm central here, but tomorrow it airs at 12:30am b/c of baseball. So if you miss the "match of the day", at least you get to see a piece of it.
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#20

sirhcmeister

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Posted May 26, 2004 @ 1:16 PM

As of now, it'll probably be the Venus and Serena show with guest stars Jennifer and Lindsay as Justine Henin-Hardenne has been eliminated, as has both Andy Roddick and Vince Spadea, leaving no more American men in the singles draw after the 2nd round.

We will probably be seeing more of the Russian women now as well, namely Petrova, Myskina, Sharapova, Znonereva, Kusnetzova and Dementieva
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#21

Tartlet

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Posted May 26, 2004 @ 1:16 PM

What will ESPN do now with the men's coverage now that Agassi and Roddick have both been eliminated? Will doubles (re: Bryan and Bryan) suddenly become the hot ticket? Dare I dream for more internationally-flavoured coverage?

Edited by Tartlet, May 26, 2004 @ 1:19 PM.

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#22

Metaluna

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Posted May 26, 2004 @ 10:04 PM

Dare I dream for more internationally-flavoured coverage?

Unfortunately, ESPN generally only shows non-American matches when they have a great TV angle, or are absolutely forced to (ie. when there are no more Americans left). Screw the most competitive and/or entertaining matches. So, if you prefer the Ferreros and Hewitts and so on, you'd better hope they either go against an American, have a record length match, or make it to the final, or you're out of luck.

What will ESPN do now with the men's coverage now that Agassi and Roddick have both been eliminated?

Well, as someone said upthread, they'll continue to shove the Williams' down our throats 24/7, so we can watch them destroy hapless early round opponents and bear witness to their latest fashion atrocities. Because everyone just loooooves the Williams sisters. Except, you know, every tennis fan I've ever met.

Man, do I ever wish I could get tennis coverage on another station. I'm sick of obviously biased commentators, missing the best games, and, of course, the MacEnroes and Brad Gilbert. Anything has to be better than this.
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#23

Flarking Schnit

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Posted May 27, 2004 @ 11:03 AM

Add me to the list of the ESPN tennis coverage hate. I'm betting the only men's coverage we'll get between Williams sister routs will be analysis of why the U.S. men fared so poorly on clay. Hopefully we'll see some change in the coverage when NBC shows some matches this weekend. I know the American ladies will still be the top priority, but I am hoping they will show at least some of the Federer-Kuerten match on Saturday.
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#24

Jer2002

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Posted May 27, 2004 @ 5:40 PM

I only saw the latter part of today's coverage and saw Serena barely make it out of her match alive. Heh, Mary Carillo hates her. I loved it when she said that if Serena lost, the press would give her shit for going to the Cannes Film Festival instead of preparing for the tournament.

Edited by Jer2002, May 27, 2004 @ 5:58 PM.

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#25

crimsongrl

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Posted May 28, 2004 @ 3:54 PM

I lurve me some Serena Williams, but enough is enough.
ESPN showed her match on Thursday around 1pm.
Then they showed it again as the "match of the day" at 11:30pm.
THEN they showed it at 8am this morning!
THEN they showed it AGAIN at 12pm! UNREAL

I really HATE ESPN! They ruin everything!
So much for trying to catch some tennis on my day off! Bastards.[/end rant]
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#26

TonyBoy123

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Posted May 28, 2004 @ 4:19 PM

ESPN showed her match on Thursday around 1pm.
Then they showed it again as the "match of the day" at 11:30pm.
THEN they showed it at 8am this morning!
THEN they showed it AGAIN at 12pm! UNREAL


Not to mention that it was on tape all 4 times! This is getting ridiculous. Why would you show a taped match when there is live tennis going on. I can't wait for the US Open to come along. The USA network does a much better job than ESPN. They only show taped matches when there is a rain delay or no live tennis is going on. And they will cut into (GASP!) a Roddick, Agassi, or Williams match if a more exciting match is going on.

What is ESPN thinking? I don't know any tennis fans who only like to watch the Americans. I mean tennis is a global sport, so why would the US audience be offended by seeing non-Americans on the screen. ESPN just doesn't get it. Is this a recent problem or what? I remember seeing the likes of Graf, Seles, Becker, Edberg, Rafter, and Hingis on TV all the time a few years ago. What changed?
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#27

Bungalow Joy

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Posted May 28, 2004 @ 5:22 PM

I remember seeing the likes of Graf, Seles, Becker, Edberg, Rafter, and Hingis on TV all the time a few years ago. What changed?

I dunno, it's like they're trying to selling it as more than tennis or something. I really hate John McEnroe's attitude that the players need to bring excitement and personality and flair, and, y'know, scream and get MAD and SHOW SOME EMOTION. Fuck, just play good tennis. Mac and his ilk want to turn the sport into some gargantua spectacle, with "grudge matches" and trash talk because it's so money. I'm fine with watching how beautiful Federer's and Henin-Hardenne's backhands are. Damn, it's beautiful.
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#28

Jer2002

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Posted May 30, 2004 @ 1:28 AM

So I tuned in all kinds of late to Saturday's French Open coverage. I missed all of the NBC coverage. On ESPN though, there was mention of a player from China on the Women's side who made the round of 16, yet they didn't even show her. Was she shown on NBC at all?
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#29

sirhcmeister

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Posted May 30, 2004 @ 8:14 AM

Jer, you probably won't be seeing Jie Zheng in her fourth round match tomorrow, because she's playing one of the lower seeds (Paola Suarez). Tomorrow's coverage will probably be (for the women):

Dementieva vs. Davenport
Capriati vs. Schiavone
V. Williams vs. Zuluaga
S. Williams vs. Asagoe

and maybe Sharapova or Mauresmo's matches
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#30

Bungalow Joy

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Posted May 30, 2004 @ 3:55 PM

I saw the Sharapova match on ESPN2. She's a model, too, so you bet she'll always get a lot of coverage.
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