Ok I deleted CBS from my tv..—
ivo karlovic (@ivokarlovic) March 31, 2013
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.”