At the French Open this year, ESPN followed the typical Grand Slam pattern of showing only token glimpses of a couple of top women players during the first week, and then focusing heavily on the men (ignoring the many great early round women's matches). The result was abysmal ratings, which were only salvaged by showing more women's matches in week two. (Including the Capriati/Williams semi, which set a record for any French Open cable telecast ever.)
Given that model, what does TNT do during week one? Yep. Just snippets of the top 3 women, then focusing almost exclusively on men's matches while not showing the many quality women's matches. Result: ratings are down 22%. NBC fell into that rut as well, showing less women's tennis during its first 3 days, and its ratings were down 24%.
Over the last several years, there has been a direct correlation between the amount of women's matches shown, and TV ratings. With there being more star players on the women's side, and more close matches in the early rounds, that would make sense. If I were running things for the network, and I were charged with generating the highest TV ratings possible, which would in turn generate greater advertising revenue, I think I'd go with what would bring in the largest audience. But then, I only minored in Economics in college, so what would I know? :)
Jul 5th, 2002, 03:19 AM
I supect the early departure of Sampras and Agassi and the rest of the American men had an impact. But I think they should take Venus' suggestion and let the men play the best of three. These 5 setters are just too boring!
Jul 5th, 2002, 03:23 AM
count me amongst those who can't stand men's tennis on TV. The games take too long and I have no clue who those players are; the only ones I follow are pete, safin, adre, hewitt and the like. I know a lot of people say the tennis is good quality but I can't get into the game of two unknows. I think the ATP is doing a bad job of familiarizing the players to the audience. Give me womens tennis where most games end 6-2 6-2 but atleast I am interested on who is playing it.
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:02 AM
oh yeah, this will go a long way towards helping the ratings...
Williams whitewash sets up 'boring' final
Russell Thomas and Paul Kelso
Friday July 5, 2002
The Williams sisters marked Independence Day by asserting their near-monopoly of women's tennis and fighting through to face each other in the Wimbledon singles final for the first time.
Tomorrow's shootout between the top seeds Venus and Serena is their third final in grand slam events but the first between siblings at Wimbledon since the Harrow-born Maud Watson beat Lilian in 1884.
Last night Serena gained a psychological edge over her elder sister by displacing her as world No1, a status that will not change even if she is beaten by Venus, the defending champion, tomorrow.
The 20-year-old Serena paid tribute to her parents, Richard and Oracene, after her crushing 6-2, 6-1 semi-final win over France's Amélie Mauresmo. "It's tough enough to raise one great player," she said. "My parents have done not one, but two. No matter what people say, my mum and dad have made some champions."
Mauresmo said: "I think it's a little bit sad for women's tennis. I think people are going to get bored with it; it was already a final at the French Open. I can't count how many people since yesterday have told me, 'we don't want a Williams final whatever'."
Previous major clashes between the sisters have been disappointing, including Serena's French Open triumph in June and their Wimbledon semi-final of 2000 when Venus triumphed 6-2, 7-6 and went on to take the title.
In that semi-final Serena showed no semblance of the form that had seen her concede only 13 games in her run to the last four. Not for the first time cynics suggested that the family affair lacked true competitiveness. Yet their French final, in which Serena avenged her 2001 US Open final defeat by Venus, was studded by fierce hitting on both sides and long, demanding rallies.
Venus, 22, leads 5-3 in their battles, a further incentive for Serena to triumph tomorrow. Serena said: "Just because I'm world No1, it doesn't mean I don't want to win Wimbledon."
Last night Venus, earlier a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Justine Henin, and Serena focused together as they won their third-round doubles match.
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:06 AM
mORE wta!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Jul 5th, 2002, 04:38 AM
Venus and Serena Williams should retire after Wimbledon.!! The "folks" are upset with them for being good at their sport, and the fans want them to kill each other. Sister, be damned!!!
If, as I suggest, they retire now, they've already impacted womens' tennis and history, so there's nothing further to prove or accomplish. Let the "genteel folks" have their silly tennis game. The Sisters can now concentrate on dominating, boxing, basketball, or even track and field. Let those staid and stale old white folks have their game that they cherish so.
Money, is not an issue. They both have more money than they could ever need to live comfortable lives outside of tennis. Just think about it, no more media attacks by "under educated tennis phenoms.They wouldn't have to worry about attacks by players who don't speak English well, and therefore use this as an excuse to belittle and attack the Sisters at every turn. Serena wouldn't have to worry about "stalkers". Their parents wouldn't have to endure all those nasty rumors and accusations of "match fixing".
And, another thing. Finally, Chrissy and Johnny Mac can go take a "flying leap" off a mountain. Mary Carillo will have to find someone else to demean, and wonder if they'll ever play their best tennis.
Venus and Serena, please consider what I've said and then tell the unforgiving fans on the WTA board to "screw themselves" as the two of you ride off into the sunset.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Jul 5th, 2002, 05:53 AM
"With there being more star players on the women's side, and more close matches in the early rounds, "
More stars, yes.
But closer matches in the early rounds? Please. For who? The two qualifiers fighting it out for a chance to get their butt kicked by the top 5 player in the second round?
The mens matches are closer in the early rounds, and have been for ages.
Jul 5th, 2002, 06:22 AM
i think there's a lot of truth in what rebecca is saying .......the early round match between Henman and Draper was a fantastic match ...regardless of how much yo hate Tim Henman (as everybody seems to ) and regardless of how much you don't know who Scot Draper is, if you like great tennis you should be able to appreciate that match ........some people like tennis for the tennis itself others for the personalities ....to me it doesn't make a difference if I don't know the players I just like the game.
Jul 5th, 2002, 06:45 AM
THE ONLY WAY WOMEN'S TENNIS IS GOING TO HAVE CONSISTENT HIGH TV RATING IS IF HINGIS AND A FEW OTHER WOMEN PLAYERS COME BACK AND IF ANNA KOURNIKOVA WOULD START WINNING SOME MATCHES AND TOURNAMENTS ANNA ALONE CAN BRING THE TELEVISION RATINGS UP CONSIDERABLY. AND I SAY THAT BECAUSE IT'S A SIMPLE FACT THAT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT BEAUTY AND SEX APPEAL SELLS AND IF ANNA WERE TO WIN SHE COULD BRING THE SPORT ALONG WITH HER. IT'S AMAZING THAT EVEN WHEN SHE DOESN'T WIN SHE IS STILL BRINGS IN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT TO ATTENTION THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER ON TOUR. AND I BELIEVE THAT'S WHY THE OTHER GIRLS ARE JEALOUS OF HER AND THAT WHY THE FANS OF OTHER PLAYERS ON THE TOUR HATE ANNA FOR THE ATTENTIONS SHE GETS. BUT YOU HAVE TO FACE THE TRUTH ANNA IS A MAJOR DRAW ON THE TOUR AND OFF COURT.
Jul 6th, 2002, 03:55 AM
Yes, qualifiers like Pierce (the Molik match was a dandy), Testud, Tulyaganova, Schnyder, Farina, Mauresmo, Dokic, Raymond, Clijsters, Shaughnessy, Hantuchova, Schett, Coetzer, just to name a few.
Grand slam tennis producers consider it a good match if it goes the distance. I'm seen them classify 5 setters that included at least 3 lopsided sets that way.
Here is an absolute fact: more women's matches go the distance in the early rounds (1-3) of slams than men's. Always have. :) I personally checked every slam draw going back through 1995 recently (got tired before I could go any further). Do you know how many slams had more men's matches going the distance in the early rounds? Zero! So that's not a legit excuse to avoid showing the women.
And that doesn't even include all of the great 2-set matches. Speaking of which, I knew it would happen, and it did! When Serena scraped by Els in 2 tiebreaks in the 3rd round, I said then and there that if she got through the next couple of matches without dropping a set, that would be what they'd emphasize. Sure enough, we've heard plenty of references to Serena having "not lost a set", which is their way of trying to suggest she had won every match easily. That's the kind of garbage the women get subjected to.
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:08 AM
why is women's tennis more exciting than the men's game? because women players are bitches and the men as lively as dead fishes! (come back goran - all is forgiven!)
Ted of Teds Tennis
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:34 AM
Chanda Rubin is not a bitch.
Of course, I think britainstimhenman is a prick, and the fawning, hagiolatrous, orgasmic coverage given him by the BBC World Service has made me hate all British athletes. :)
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:35 AM
Thanks for the stat Brian Stewart, I had no idea.
of course, one could always argue that you can't really compare best of 3 to best of 5 ;)
Jul 6th, 2002, 04:50 AM
Really? Then I should really write in to the TV station to tell them that... :)
Thanks Brian! :D
Jul 6th, 2002, 06:43 AM
I think the main reason for poor ratings is because of the world cup.
Jul 6th, 2002, 11:19 AM
There seems to be a "presumption" in TV offices that Mens tennis is the "real" thing and womens is a sideshow.
Only when they are really hurt by the ratings do they alter this. (eg Eurosport).
The other presumption the TV execs have, is that we'd rather see Venus or Jen bashing the No 156 in the world 6-1, 6-0, than a competitive early round match between up nd coming players.