Tennis TV Frustration: You Can’t Watch Nadal, Isner And Venus Battle In Miami Today, But You Can Watch Challenger Action!!

by Sean Randall | March 23rd, 2012, 2:57 pm

Miami and Indian Wells each call themselves the “fifth slam”, but both Masters events are far from such recognition. In this hyper-electronic age of social media and online streaming, neither event, which feature the very best tennis players in the world, offer TV coverage of their first round men’s/women’s competitions. It’s inexplicable.

Miami, in fact, doesn’t even have second round coverage today when players like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams who plays Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova tonight in a blockbuster showdown, are scheduled.

So unless you’re in Miami at the stadium you won’t see any of it. You won’t see Rafa or get to watch Venus try to continue her comeback! Nothing! There is no coverage, there are no streams, rogue or official. (Those begin tomorrow.)

Poster “carlo” summed it with this comment: “Have no clue why the black-out/ no coverage of early round matches. You would think ESPN3 would at least offer something but no, nothing. And they successfully eliminate live streams from the usual reliable sites. grrr….Coverage starts tomorrow, but I don’t know how well-covered that will be. As of now, I can watch a challenger in Bath or Marrakesh, but nothing from Miami. sheesh.”

Sheesh is 100% right.

How can a sport have TV coverage and streaming of minor league Challenger events in Bath or Marrakech today, but absolutely NO international broadcast coverage for a self-proclaimed “fifth Slam” tournament on a day when some of the biggest, most popular stars in the sport like Nadal, Venus and Murray are on court?

Can someone explain? Aren’t the tennis powers trying to “grow” the game? How is this even possible?

Or maybe this happens more than I think in other sports. Maybe LeBron James and his Miami Heat play a few NBA games with no TV coverage. Maybe there’s no way to watch some early rounds at a select number of the larger PGA golf events. Maybe one or two New York Jet games every season don’t get televised. Or maybe that’s just a load of crap because we know the major sports and the major stars get on TV. Just not tennis.

I understand that at some of the smaller events there may not be coverage until late in the tournament. And I know there are costs to set up cameras and production, etc. BUT THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE A A FIFTH SLAM!! Not Casablanca!

So if you are going to call yourselves one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world you’d better have at least some sort of first-to-last ball TV coverage or streaming before you make that claim.

In the meantime I guess I’ll just have to watch more basketball. Just part of the frustration and madness of being a tennis fan.

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9 Comments for Tennis TV Frustration: You Can’t Watch Nadal, Isner And Venus Battle In Miami Today, But You Can Watch Challenger Action!!

RZ Says:

That is crazy. Even the online live streaming sites are running anything until tomorrow.

My guess is that ESPN doesn’t want to cover anything other than NCAA basketball right now. But what about the Tennis Channel? How is it that they don’t have coverage? Their whole reason for existence is to air tennis and it’s silly for them to be airing anything other than Miami right now.

blogger1 Says:

So totally agree. Makes us (USA) look bad. :( Sad I am missing much of my favorite sport!

carlo Says:

Sean thank you so much for posting my frustration.

By the way, Tennis Channel is useless. How can they call it ‘Tennis Channel’ when they are showing reruns of Kooyong Classic and tennis destination travelogues during a Masters 1000?

Imagine what Golf Channel subscribers would say if they did something similar?!

There was actually better coverage ( streams available ) for Memphis and San Jose than for Miami. Indian Wells was better than Miami, but still delayed by a day. But three days of no match coverage for Miami is more than disappointing.

Wondering if tennis will end up like cycling, my other favorite sport. Most of the races are in Europe – at least I can get a live stream from the UK, and if not from there, from Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands or even Luxembourg. And here in the US I can get delayed coverage on Universal Sports Network for the classics and Grand Tours. But I have to say at this point, availability of relevant tennis coverage is worse than cycling coverage in the US.

Maybe Universal Sports Network could make room in their programming for some live tennis; fit it in somewhere between Ocean Paddler, speed skating and gymnastics?

But I don’t understand Tennis Channel and the lack of a stream on ESPN3.

Kimberly Says:

Great write up as I sit here watching Oklahoma city and Minnesota! However as I went to the dayatches with stadium seating, I can’t complain!

Jessica Says:

I don’t usually write posts but when I saw this, I thought you read my mind. I am still angry at not being able to see Venus’s first tour match since she pulled out of the U.S. Open, announcing she had Sjogren’s. What an absolutely tragedy. Miami needs to get it together.

harryO Says:

Indian Wells and Miami are 2 huge tourneys, which are on the same level as the Slams. The Tournament Directors must do whatever necessary to insure that there is first day to final day TV coverage. If the presidents of the ATP and WTA cant make it happen, then they must be FIRED!!!!Otherwise tennis is doomed to be a periphery sport, appealing to a niche audience. When you have the idiot appealing Speed and Golf TV channels broadcasting contemporary events, it is madness that the 2 aforementioned tourneys are not covered. In Canada, we cant even get the Tennis Channel or any ESPN at all. So consider yourselves blessed, if you live in the USA

Brandon Says:

I don’t have Tennis Channel with my basic HD with Comcast but I am a subscriber to TennisTV. So with TennisTV and WatchESPN and the other major networks CBS, NBC etc, I can watch a lot of the matches.
I think TennisTV does a great job of covering most of the matches. I’m not super bugged if they don’t cover 1st round because none of the seeds play but if they could I would love to watch every round of a tournament. I wish TennisTV would keep more of the matches around for VOD playback whenever I would like to watch them again. They have a new feature on their website called Catch Up which is a step in the right direction but the matches are only up there for a couple weeks, it would be great if they could keep the last 6 months or so available. So during those blackout tournaments or during November/December when there isn’t much tennis going on I could watch some of the last few months matches again.
My biggest complain about TennisTV is the number of tournaments that are blacked out in the USA. The next 3 out of 5 tournaments are blacked out here. It is probably something that is out of their control but it still bugs me and is something they need to work hard to address.

gordon Says:

Is there a live strea where I can watch finals of Monte Carlo. I am from Canada where tennis is banned sport on TV

gordon Says:

This is a program for today that we are alowed to watch:
12:30 AM Intersport College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championship
2:30 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
3:00 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
3:30 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
4:00 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
4:30 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
5:00 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
5:30 AM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs
6:00 AM IIHF Under 18 World Championship: Bronze Medal Game – Canada vs. Finland
10:00 AM TSN The Reporters With Dave Hodge
10:30 AM ESPN Magazine’s Sports Reporters
12:30 PM 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Pre-Race: STP 400
1:00 PM 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup: STP 400
4:00 PM 2012 Formula One Auto Racing: Bahrain Grand Prix
6:00 PM Motoring 2012
6:30 PM Fulda Extreme Arctic Adventure 2012
7:30 PM Score Golf Television
8:00 PM ESPN Sunday Night Baseball: NY Yankees @ Boston
11:00 PM That’s Hockey 2 Nite Playoffs

No we are not one dimensional. :(

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