I was pleased when I first learned the news, excited at the prospect of HD quality and decent commentators for the big matches. But when I tuned in, I was less than impressed: besides the annoying, constant chatter of John McEnroe and Mary Carillo, viewers were given taped matches, oddly timed advertising breaks (like after the first two games of a set, instead of during the first change over!), and worst of all, starting coverage a couple sets in so the conclusion of the match could fin into the paltry 3 hour coverage window (a sin that is only slightly less serious than breaking away from a live match before it’s over.)
Normally I’d want to declare war on the big, bad network, but then a couple non-tennis fanatic friends of mine (yes, I do have some of those) mentioned that they caught Maria Sharapova playing on NBC yesterday. Sure, they have cable, but something about mainstream network coverage made them more apt to tune in, or at least keep their hands off of the remote for a few games. And people like my non-cable subscribing mom had the rare opportunity to watch tennis on t.v. (assuming the old bunny ears could be bent in the right direction.) So isn’t that worth something?