Once again one of the greatest days annually in the sport of tennis is being carried in America on tape delay. If you are watching Soderling-Gonzalez on NBC right now (11:24 a.m. ET) the match is already over, but on TV you are led to believe it is near the end of the third set. NBC also had the gall to skip the second set, which Soderling won 7-5, due to time constraints.
The best match of the day, Federer versus Del Potro, has started, with Federer up 2-1 in the first set. It will not be on television until 4 p.m. ET on the Tennis Channel, well after it ends (and of course it is a channel that many people do not receive).
If John McEnroe were honest, he would speak directly to his bosses at NBC and say, “You suck.” But of course, he wants the paycheck and will never do so. But I will: American tennis fans are getting screwed. NBC should carry the matches live and their entirety. Tape delay was perhaps acceptable in 1985, before the Internet and ESPN, but in this age live coverage is a must, especially of the semifinals. Brilliant shows like ”Days of Our Lives,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” and ”The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that fill the 1-4 p.m. NBC slots this afternoon should take a day off. If not, NBC should cede coverage to ESPN2.
No wonder Texas Hold’em is more popular in this country than tennis.