U.S. and non-British viewers will be left in the dark when The Blackrock Masters Tennis, the year-end championships of the ATP’s senior tour, will be played Dec. 2-7 at The Royal Albert Hall in London.
Britain’s ITV will provide daily coverage of the event, but there is no announced coverage in the U.S. ITV has announced “two matches will be broadcast exclusively live on ITV.com and via a new red button interactive service,” but provided no further information.
The Blackrock Masters Tennis will feature Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jeremy Bates and Cedric Pioline in round robin Group A, and Stefan Edberg, Goran Ivanisevic, Greg Rusedski and Guy Forget in Group B. Sampras vs. McEnroe will be the main event in round robin play.
“This is a message for Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Goran Ivanisevic and all of you other guys,” McEnroe delivered in a warning. “I’m not coming to London to lose.”
The top two players from each round robin group will face off in the final.
Unlike other world sports, tennis continues its unique marketing effort of denying worldwide viewing audiences for its most interesting events — in this case, showing the Blackrock Masters only in Britain.
“I’m thrilled that we are bringing the BlackRock Masters Tennis exclusively to ITV4 viewers,” said Dave Fewings, ITV4 controller. “The event offers a great opportunity to watch some of the game’s great legends.”
It certainly does. Enjoy the event, Britain.
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