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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #16
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

On Friday morning USTA national released the following statement: "The USTA is aware of the proposed format changes being made by the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Committee to the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships. Working with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the USTA is preparing a joint opposition letter to these changes. The letter will be distributed to the committee in advance of its Monday, August 20th meeting."

http://www.florida.usta.com/news/ust...weekend_tv111/
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #17
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

http://straightsets.blogs.nytimes.co...Sets&seid=auto
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #18
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

MASON, Ohio—Changes in the format of college tennis announced by the N.C.A.A. Wednesday have drawn a furious and seemingly one-sided response across social media, with players and coaches weighing in with their objections.

Under the new rules, singles matches will no longer be played as a full best-of-three, but with a first-to-10-points tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set. Doubles has also been shortened from an eight-game pro-set to one six-game set, and the gap between the doubles matches and singles will be only five minutes. Changeovers have been reduced from 90 to 60 seconds, and opponents will no longer warm up with one another before playing. The changes only apply to Division I matches.

The rationales given were that no other collegiate sport makes its athletes compete for up to four-and-a-half hours in a day, and that a shorter duration would be more media- and fan-friendly.

“By shortening the format and bringing greater excitement to the dual match, programs will be able to attract fan support and attention to tennis,” the N.C.A.A. said.

An additional clause in the rationale section of the decision explained that shortened tennis matches would be more television-friendly, despite college tennis never having had much of any footprint on television.

“The shortened format may provide exposure opportunities through television coverage, live streaming and local media coverage,” the N.C.A.A. said. “It is difficult and cost prohibitive for television to air a 4.5 hour college tennis match. In addition, it is very challenging for local media (television or print) to watch and cover an entire dual match. Therefore, the sport lacks local and national coverage, which will be improved with a format that consistently finishes within a three-hour time frame.”

As soon as the changes were confirmed, the backlash on social media was nearly instant. A Facebook group opposing the reforms quickly gained more than 2,000 members, and the hashtag “#savecollegetennis” was created.

“Well looks like effective September 1st I can start eating all the burgers I want since I won’t be playing any three set matches,” tweeted Emina Bektas of the University of Michigan.

“This new NCAA tennis format is a total joke,” tweeted Aaron Pfister of Michigan State. “Beyond disappointed to hear about it. Changes the way matches will go 100%. #furious”

Pfister added: “I think people looking to go pro will look to avoid college tennis because those format matches don’t help.”

“Disturbing news re: future NCAA tennis format,” tweeted University of Georgia coach Manny Diaz. “Will kill our college game as we know it today.”

“Or we could just flip a coin for doubles point,” Diaz added. “That would shorten it. Don’t see baseball playing 6 innings or BB 3 quarters.”

Reaction was also negative from overseas, as Mark Edney of Athlete Development for Tennis Australia also tweeted his disapproval.

“The more I think of it, the new NCAA rules may be a detriment,” Edney said. “Recruiting athletes could be impossible as it is not longer ‘real’ tennis.

N.C.A.A. champion Nicole Gibbs of Stanford was also outspoken about the changes. “@NCAA thank you for reducing my sport to a joke at the collegiate level #wasteoftime,” she tweeted.

“I play tennis for tennis, not for tv coverage and frat boy attendance,” Gibbs added. “Playing a tb for a third set compromises the integrity of the sport!”

Recent Stanford grad Bradley Klahn agreed.

“It is unfortunate that in this era media accessibility and popularity trumps the best interests of those student athletes who have sacrificed much to achieve their dreams,” Klahn tweeted. “You can’t sell your program as a stepping stone to pro tennis with super breakers for a third set.”

“I don’t think I love it,” said Brian Baker, the current A.T.P. No. 78 and a former coach at Belmont University. “Just for the fact that, typically, the shorter the match, the more luck that can come into play, and sometimes the better team doesn’t always come out on top. I know maybe they did it to try to shorten some matches, you know, try to get it done earlier, but I would rather see the full third play out. It adds another element of fitness to it, and that’s a big part of tennis. That’s why the Grand Slams are played three-out-of-five, to try to get the best players to win. I guess it’s going to have to play out and see how it goes, but I would think that most of the people that have played college tennis would prefer to play the longer match, just because you feel like you have more chances to showcase who’s the better player.”

“If college is used as developmental step for kids to then play on tour, it would help if it was the same scoring, obviously,” said Rajeev Ram, the current A.T.P. No. 100 in singles and No. 55 in doubles who played one semester of college tennis at Illinois before turning professional. “If I’m going into a match knowing that all I’ve got to do is win one set and then I’m into a breaker, I think I would play a little differently. And out here that never happens.”

Ram said that the new scoring system would have hurt the appeal of college tennis to him as a stepping stone to the professional ranks.

“I think it would, just because I think it’s not the same,” he said. “And there’s a big part of fitness, a big part of spending time to figure out your opponent that now is kind of taken away from you a little bit, because you don’t have that luxury of playing your way in, seeing if it’s going to work, maybe if it doesn’t work then changing it. By the time that happens you already know that the best you can do is a breaker.”

Ram appeared skeptical about the possibility for massive improvement in media coverage for college tennis, one of the intended results of the change.

“If all the sudden college tennis becomes a media phenomenon, then I’m going to give it to them,” he said. “I mean, I was fortunate to be on a team where we would have 800 to 1,000 people come to our matches.”

“I think there’s still a lot of benefit to it,” he said of college tennis. “You still get practices, you still get ability to play with the team, a coach, and everything is taken care of. I think they can get a lot of benefit from that, even if the matches are not like normal conditions.”


Credit. This is the NY Times artile by Ben Rothenberg. The accompanying photo is Nicole Gibbs returning serve against Serena William.

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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #19
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

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Originally Posted by Tennisace View Post
This of course also assumes that all telecasts will be live... That won't happen, maybe just for the NCAA championships but not your conference duals. They edit the replays of the NCAA champs when they were live so why not just edit and keep things the same?
GSM,

They taped Bolt's race, and it still worked for NBC.
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #20
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

John Isner ‏@JohnIsner
#savecollegetennis @NCAA

John Isner ‏@JohnIsner
I got where I am bc of college tennis. The new proposed rule changes will b detrimental 2 player development. If its not broken don't fix it
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Old Aug 17th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #21
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

playing singles first might allow them to televise 3 matches in their three hour window. maybe they can get an oxiclean spokesman to hype the matches for them since we won't have doubles to add excitment very often. Finish those matches and follow it with 9 holes of college putt putt golf.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 02:01 AM   #22
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

Again we are looking at this from a very short sided perspective...more televised tennis originating in the US helps tennis. Of course college tennis didn't cause the US to lose WTA event. But lack of US stars. Did. The globalization of the sport did... And many other factors... but more televised tennis in the US certainly wont hurt women's tennis.

dollars are indeed good for tennis... the sport won't survive without more dollars, or at least it will lack money to grow a sport. If someone throws dollars don't you think both the NCAA and the institutions will chase them? Do you know any sport that doesnt?

Do you understand how TV rights contracts work? the risk is on the network. Not the NCAA. They buy the product and sell the commercial time? The loss is on the Network!!!! Gee, that's pretty basic... No risk? If they lose money they cancel the show... But. Hint hint. Someone is whispering in someone's ear to make your product more TV friendly. And we will buy it...

So, whatever you may think wont matter. Unless you can open your wallet and pay them what they think they will get! Then they don't care what you think. how do you say, Show me the money and money talks and ?? Walks...

All I'm saying is us fan boys aren't offering money to change this engine thats leaving the station...but you can still think about following the evil perils of money. And Joe Paterno stuff.... And we will have to wait to see if they follow the purists, and traditionalist. Or will they just follow the money. My bet is ...the money.

Oh and by the way, did you see the talk today about moving away from a five set men's Grand Slam??? What is driving that talk...THE MONEY and TV
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 02:31 AM   #23
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

Currently the mother ship ESPN an all it's networks including ESPNU, and CBS sports network, AND the new boy at the table NBC Sports Net formally Versus are climbing all over each other to bid on LIVE Sports programming. Someone has indeed whispered in the ear of the NCAA that just like with some of your new additional sports like womens softball we will PAY YOU IF it can fit into programming slots...

ESPN wants to hang on and the new boys want to carve into the pie.... That's why we are here today.... He who pays up gets to tell the others to shut up... Let's see what they do!
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 02:33 AM   #24
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

Well, yeah, we talk sports all the time, and we don't expect that the coaches and owners are going to do what we think.

I don't have any special experience with TV rights contracts, but its a flawed business structure courting irresponsible aggressive bets, if the NCAA can get millions by putting someone else assets into an experiment while the NCAA does not bear any of the risks if the experiment is a flop.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #25
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

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Originally Posted by USTennisfan View Post
Currently the mother ship ESPN an all it's networks including ESPNU, and CBS sports network, AND the new boy at the table NBC Sports Net formally Versus are climbing all over each other to bid on LIVE Sports programming. Someone has indeed whispered in the ear of the NCAA that just like with some of your new additional sports like womens softball we will PAY YOU IF it can fit into programming slots...

ESPN wants to hang on and the new boys want to carve into the pie.... That's why we are here today.... He who pays up gets to tell the others to shut up... Let's see what they do!
You sound that you have inside knowledge of the television business, but I saw that much of the OLYMPICS on NBC was TAPED. For this tennis championship, ESPNU (for University) did the NCAA Championships live, and then in the evening, they were in a condensed version on ESPN. I spent spent time at a sports bar watching ESPNU so that I could see the event live. But the taped version was good too and available to me on my more limited cable selection.

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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 04:17 AM   #26
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

No...actually the overwhelming majority of tennis at the Olympics was LIVE... Not on NBC, but BRAVO, a Sister Network.. If you had multiple TVs, it (the Olympics) was on MSNBC, CNBC, BRAVO, NBC Sports Network, and it's Flagship, NBC... And I woke up every day, and at 6 or 7 AM, BRAVO had the Tennis on LIVE, all day long.....

Remember the song, it was something like "200 stations and nothing on".. With digital Cable, Satellite TV, FIOS, there are almost 300 channels now... all looking for programming... and do you know why Sports is the most coveted...It can't be TIVO'd to the degree any other TV is... With Internet, Twitter,etc. people know the score, and it ruins the event.. That's why SPORTS works LIVE, and the advertisers love that people dont' time shift sports (probably because of gambling), but I don't want to bore you, but the Tennis at the Olympics was live and in charge... actually all of it was (on the sister networks)... They then repackaged it and showed it on tape delay for the average consumer at night prime TV for the big bucks!

The plan for Tennis, will follow what they are building on similar to Women's softball(here I go again).. They made that event sports programming.. they did the Regionals, then Nationals and built the audience from just those interested in the schools, to every school girl, (and more importantly) the parents...

You couldn't give away College Tennis, just 5 years ago...and now it's event TV.. they have remade the sport to rival the ratings of the pros... The College World Series!!! Big time packaged product today, and just 5 years ago,they had to pay the networks to Televise it...

Of and if you really thinka I'm joking... Follow the Little League World Series... on TV.... and what it's become...

So... you have to believe someone has a plan..
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 04:21 AM   #27
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

I meant to say "college baseball" couldn't be given away just 5 years ago.. Sorry!
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #28
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

really appreciate the input, USTennisfan. just some musings;

What does it have to do with the length of the dual match? Will drastically shortening the match length really help promoting college tennis? Was the softball format drastically changed(shortened) to be broadcast?

I'm not sure the 'audiences' will mind whether the singles match is 2 of 3 or 3rd set supertiebreaker..dbls match format too, for that matter(8 to 6, what's the big difference here?). Did the network request specific time restraint, like 3 hrs, so NCAA had to find every possible means to cram the match to fit it? How long is a typical softball match?

I actually think 3 of 5 is too long Creates massive headache for scheduling too
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #29
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

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Originally Posted by fantic View Post
really appreciate the input, USTennisfan. just some musings;

What does it have to do with the length of the dual match? Will drastically shortening the match length really help promoting college tennis? Was the softball format drastically changed(shortened) to be broadcast?

I'm not sure the 'audiences' will mind whether the singles match is 2 of 3 or 3rd set supertiebreaker..dbls match format too, for that matter(8 to 6, what's the big difference here?). Did the network request specific time restraint, like 3 hrs, so NCAA had to find every possible means to cram the match to fit it? How long is a typical softball match?

I actually think 3 of 5 is too long Creates massive headache for scheduling too
The devil is in the details.. By appearance it looks like they (NCAA) was either told or was hinted to find a way to fit your product into a 3 hour window. Must other sports have been or they have taken steps to reduce the length to fit into that window. Every sport is taking steps to shorten the match to fit the 3 hour window, including the Granddaddy of all, football, and just now have they conceded the time to extend 15 minutes beyond, but by and large the average football match is 3 hours. Tennis even with all of it's grand tradition, at this level (college) will have to capitualate, to have a chance to hitch it's wagon to the money train.

Now how they come to the conclusion of how to trim it, is something I am not privy to. I do agree with you, this is where you may see fine tuning, but the key will be the 3 hour slot. Now smarter minds have to come to an agreement on the give and take to make it work, unless they are hellbent on shoving this change through, and will wait and make adjustments a year later.
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Old Aug 18th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #30
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Re: Rule Changes All About Money - TV Money

I would guess an average 3 set match between even players wiil "average" 3 hours..with 6 positions, and probably 2 going 3 sets, that's too long for the window (and heaven forbid we get players like Reka).. They will try to package this into 2 hours of singles, and 30 to 45 minutes of dubs, Throw in the open to set the stage, and closing, and you have it.

But so far this is just for the NCAA's.. Regular dual matches may not follow. The NCAA rules the Championships, and ITA rules the regular season.. Two different bodies... Will ITA take a wait and see? Maybe.. Don't know. Will it be coaches options, like today, but understand travel costs, and you've seen even now with rain, or flight schedules, and expenses, coaches "shorten" dual matches to meet a flight schedule (extremely costly for a team to reschedule a flight due to long matches) and kids do have to get back from a road trip for classes next day...

It just looks like from both the NCAA and schools perspective this could save money... again ... money...
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