I’m on record for being a big fan of Davis Cup. I love the format, and the crowd enthusiasm and nationalistic pride mixed in with the heightened pressure of winning makes it one of the truly great events in tennis. Unfortunately, Davis Cup is barely on the radar screen here in the U.S., if at all. More evidence of that comes this morning when surprise, surprise, the tie between the U.S. and Czech Republic is not even being shown live at all on that Versus/OLN/outdoor/fishing/rodeo channel, or whatever that damn network calls itself.
Now I can get that if ABC, NBC or CBS had bought the rights they wouldn’t want to show it live on a Friday morning because the network heads would probably figure bumping Matt Lauer or Diane Sawyer for Ivo Minar and Andy Roddick would crash their ratings. Fair enough.
But what Versus’s excuse? Is the “Saltwater Experience” or “Outdoors in the Heartland” such ratings bonanzas that you can’t afford to pull them one Friday out of the year for some live international sports? Are you afraid that the 10s if not 100s of die hard viewers would revolt and burn down your network building? And I’m sure fans of “Angling Edge” would understand, after all, it’s not like you’re not going to re-run that program about a thousand times this weekend.
And speaking of live, don’t forget Versus that there is this thing out there called the internet which makes it pretty easy for us tennis fans to get the score before you air the tape job. So the old “It’s hard to get the score so people will have to tune in to the tape job” strategy really doesn’t work any more. So stop it.
Tennis has a tough enough time here in the U.S. vs. just about anything. Now add Versus to that growling list.
Also Check Out:
Sunday U.S. Davis Cup Live Blog — Roddick v Wawrinka
2009 Australian Open TV Schedule
2010 Australian Open TV Schedule
ATP World Tour Finals TV Schedule
Davis Cup Quarterfinal Previews