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CBS cuts away from conclusion of Sony Open men’s final

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What, have enough of Two and a Half Men, Ivo?

Actually, the ATP veteran was referring to CBS’ decision to cut away from the conclusion of the men’s final at the Sony Open on Sunday to begin its NCAA tournament coverage. The network pulled the plug on tennis just as Andy Murray and David Ferrer were about to play a decisive third-set tiebreaker. Tennis Channel aired the end of the match, which Murray won 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1). The match began at 11:30 a.m. ET and lasted two hours and 45 minutes.

“They stayed with our match for as long as possible, forgoing their pre-NCAA tournament coverage and delaying the start of the Michigan-Florida tip-off in an attempt to complete its broadcast of the match,” Sony Open tournament director Adam Barrett said in a statement. “Although we wish the match could have been shown in its entirety, we understand that these situations do arise.”

Nevertheless, Karlovic wasn’t the only one angered by the decision. Basketball fans weren’t happy when they tuned in at 2 p.m. for the South Regional final only to see Murray and Ferrer grinding it out. Tennis fans were livid that CBS switched to basketball, especially those who don’t get Tennis Channel and were left scrambling to find an online stream quickly.

Mardy Fish and Chris Evert were among the current and former players who weighed in on the unfortunate timing.

“NO WAY,” Evert tweeted after learning about CBS’ plans to leave the tennis.

“Shame on CBS,” Mardy Fish tweeted. Later, Fish added: “CBS pays $25 million annually for the US Open. With Turner they pay $771 million annually for men’s NCAA Tournament rights. There ya go haha.”

FoxSports.com columnist Greg Couch concluded: “Embarrassing for tennis, but being real honest here: Tennis should be happy its non-major was on CBS in the 1st place.”

  • Published On Apr 01, 2013
  • 12 comments
    Luis Calderon
    Luis Calderon

    Reply to richardfuc:

     

    No, we are not joking.  Missing the 1st 20 minutes of a college basketball game is like missing the 1st lap of a NASCAR event.  It doesn't matter at all.  You could just loop another 20 minutes and no one could tell the difference.

     

    A professional tennis finals 3rd set tiebraker is worth 20 entire ollege basketball games.

     

    And don't give us that BS about the # of fans determining the quality of the event, or professional wrestling would trump all other sports combined.

     

     

    richardfoc
    richardfoc

    You people are joking right? You are surprised CBS left some tennis match that nobody cares about to show the NCAA Tournament that everybody cares about? How clueless and out of touch can you be? Like it says in the article you were lucky CBS was showing the match at all. When tennis pulls the same numbers that the tournament does then you can complain but until then (yeah, right) keep your mouths shut and take what you can get.

    IdaAnnaTaylor
    IdaAnnaTaylor

    I agree that it was awful what CBS did, but considering how big March Madness is in the US, I get why they did it.  The biggest problem is that the end of the match was shown on a network that not everyone has.  I do, so I saw the end of the match, but not everyone does. I remember when Fox Sports Network was showing a match a few years ago, and they cut out from the end of a Roddick/Fed match to show some TAPED fishing show!!!  That was incredulous.  This wasn't nearly that bad.

     

    Still, if the situation was reversed, you can bet that CBS wouldn't have cut away from basketball to show the beginning of a tennis match.  Heck, they would not only show the end of the game, but we would be subjected to all the post-game analysis as well before switching to the tennis!!

    TheresaGlenn
    TheresaGlenn

    if the situation were reversed, they would have joined the tenis match already in progress....

    rick.cale1
    rick.cale1

    CBS screwed up.  In reality they do not care as it is only tennis fans that are upset with me being one of them.  I could understand best of 5,etc.  but the matches was ending in a matter of minutes.  Who cares about first few minutes of BB nothing is happening.  The big money boys outbid the others for coverage but are not willing to fully commit.  Again another case of major company that is way too fat so do whatever they want with no consequence.

    Benjamin10
    Benjamin10

    I'm sorry but there is no excuse for what CBS did.  If they aren't willing to commit to showing an entire match, they shouldn't show it at all.  Exceedingly frustrating that they blocked the online access of the match in the U.S. to make sure CBS could shove as many advertisements down everyone's throat as possible.  And then, to cut out of the freaking tiebreaker?  Greedy and defenseless.  No wonder all of the networks are struggling.  They simply don't get it.

    Curtos07
    Curtos07

    I understand why tennis fans were frustrated. I really do. But as someone who is a fan of both college basketball and tennis, I also understand CBS' decision and agree with it. I just think the outrage from tennis fans is being misguided. Should tennis fans be mad? Of course they should be, but not at CBS. The Sony Open and tennis in general has to find a network that is going to be more committed to their own events so it won't conflict with other events. If you're going up against March Madness, college basketball is going to win out every single day of the week. The NCAA Tournament is a major iconic sporting event in America that draws big television ratings. Therefore, it takes precedence over any non-major tennis match. CBS can't please everyone. I saw Ivo Karlovic also tweet this:

     

    Ivo: "Ok. CBS ended tennis Miami final coverage at 6 all third set to amateur basketball. Okie dokie.."

     

    CBS/Turner paid $11 BILLION back in 2010 to purchase the television rights for that "amateur basketball" tournament, and they make a lot of money off of it through advertising. Millions of people watch it. They had to make a decision and in reality, it was a no-brainer.

     

    I love tennis myself, but even I would have chosen basketball. That's partly because I am a Michigan fan, so I was more interested in the Michigan/Florida game than the Ferrer/Murray match. Michigan was playing for its first Final Four since 1993, so it was a pretty big deal. People can say that the first few minutes of a basketball game are meaningless, but that isn't entirely true. Michigan jumped out to a 13-0 lead over Florida in the opening minutes and that set the tone for the entire game. One could argue that the first 3-4 minutes of that game were the most critical. 

     

    I guess I just don't get why so many fans are surprised by this. I get the anger and frustration, but not at CBS. And trust me, CBS has deserved a lot criticism for the way they have treated tennis in the past, particularly at the US Open. Just not here. The blame belongs on the tournament, imo.

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Unbelievably bad decision. I can't stand the U.S. networks.

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

    Not the least bit surprised...I never watch US tennis broadcast anymore...streams of Eurosport are where it's at....they are never going to hold up a tennis match for something as lame as  LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL..like ESPN2 did last year during the US Open Series...WTF...who the hell is watching that crap besides the kids parents or pedophiles!!!

     

    In the US TV market tennis is bottom of the barrel...sad but true...if no Americans are in it we don't give it the time of day.

    williej
    williej

    Nothing much happens in basketball games until the last 5 minutes anyways. CBS could easily have cut away to the bball game after a tie break which only takes 10 minutes maximum! (and 10 minutes ``real time`is only about a minute in a basketball game. Have you ever noticed how when you go watch something else and 20 minutes later you come back to the game only 5 minutes have passed in the game.

    yankeefan7
    yankeefan7

    Don't understand why CBS could not have split the screen and showed both. Think the tiebreaker laster only a couple of minutes.

     

    richardfoc
    richardfoc

    @Luis Calderon The fact that you think professional wrestling has more viewers than all other sports combined shows how incredibly out of touch you are when it comes to the sports viewing habits of the American public. The bottom line is money talks and BS walks and the NCAA Tournament is CBS' biggest sports property and no run of the mill tour event is going to preempt basketball. Live with it.