SBD/Issue 197/Sports Media

Viewers Upset Over Federer Match Being Shown On Tape Delay

Federer Match Shown On Tape Delay On NBC,
Upsetting Fans Who Want To See It Live
Wimbledon viewers were upset this morning when ESPN failed to show Roger Federer's quarterfinal match and did not provide score updates during the match. Instead, ESPN was showing the less popular Tommy Haas-Novak Djokovic match. The reason: NBC gets to choose one match to show in their window. The broadcaster chose the Federer-Ivo Karlovic match, even though it could not be aired live. "We're following history," said an NBC spokesperson, referencing Federer going for his record 15th Grand Slam title. By contract, ESPN cannot show highlights or provide score updates during its Wimbledon coverage. However, an ESPN spokesperson said it was providing those updates on "SportsCenter," ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile. NBC is making live feeds of the Andy Murray-Juan Carlos Ferrero and Andy Roddick-Lleyton Hewitt matches available on NBCSports.com (John Ourand, THE DAILY). 

DELAYED REACTION: FANGSBITES.com's Kenny Fang writes, "This was quite maddening to tennis fans who wanted to see the Federer match. ... This is a disservice to fans and an insult to their intelligence. Fans want to see matches live, they don't want to be stuck with tape knowing they can find the results elsewhere" (FANGSBITES.com, 7/1). The BUSINESS INSIDER's Henry Blodget writes under the header, "NBC Sports Wrecks The Wimbledon Quarterfinals Again." Blodget: "The only hope for us fans is that one good match will extend later than 1PM ET when NBC goes off the air and ESPN gets the rights again. Because ESPN will be smart enough to show Wimbledon live" (BUSINESSINSIDER.com, 7/1). Meanwhile, SI.com's Arash Markazi noted, "The tweets regarding NBC and ESPN's handling of their Wimbledon coverage have been classic. As entertaining as the matches in my book" (TWITTER.com, 7/1).

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