Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

Watch tennis or the sport will never be taken seriously.

Lets start with ESPN sportscenter, unless a grand slam is taking place you really don't hear or see anything about tennis, unless you wait out the whole show, even with a grand slam, tennis is rarely the lead story. Last year the Nadal, Federer classic at wimbeldon had to wait for a few baseball stories before it was mentioned. Remember when ESPN coverd the Davis Cup, the Mastrs series events and a few others, those days are gone. We may get the summer ATP 1000 series events in the united states, around 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the morning, Indian wells and Miami have gone the reginal sports joke called Fox sports net. What is the reason for all this, RATINGS. T.V. shows live and die by them, so do sports telecast. I remember in the late 70's when the NBA finals were shown on tape delay late at night, the reason, RATINGS!!! Now with heightened interest in the NBA the finals are on in prime time. Could this ever happen in tennis, I DOUBT IT!! Let's take a look at a couple of sports that get better .T.V ratings than tennis, There's the ever popular sport of DARTS, Billards, Poker, and strongman competitions. The reason for this is simple, when we get our shot at tennis in primetime we don't watch, How plain and simple can it be. RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS. There is a silver lining, our fan base is getting younger, more middle class ( sorry mercedes-benz) and What? Does this translate into better ratings for tennis? Not yet, the what seems to be that tennis players love to play and othrwise don't care about the state of the sport. In the rest of the world tennis ranks only behind soccer and basketball in popularity, in this country when Rafa plays Roger we'll just have to wait for the poker game to end before we see it. To bad, it;s hard to get american tennis players to watch anyway, guess that's so we can complain about the t.v. coverage later. If you do actually care as many say you do, respond to this and maybe we can find a way to put the 17,000 voices in tennisopolis to good use.

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I think your point, Dean, is right on target. The ratings rule the tv world. This is a double-edged sword - As fans we cannot complain too much because if the ratings were great, they'd show more tennis. You are right that we need to all watch more and I think get more vocal. I've often thought of calling the national sports radio shows with some "sports takes" and start with a couple of baseball riffs and then dive into a longer tennis take.

Another indicator of popularity that is interesting to watch is where "tennis" is on the list of sports at espn.com - this I'm sure is tied to number of visitors or clicks. Right now the only sports listed are:
NFL MLB NBA Soccer College Basketball NHL NASCAR
If you scroll over ALL SPORTS, Tennis is behind Women's Basketball, Recruiting, High School - ouch!!!!

M
what we need is another mcenroe /connors like player to bring passion and charisma to the masses which in turn rekindle the interest in tennis once again. players also need to be given options or direction as far as where to find players to play with recreationally or competitively and not be confined to just one site. we all share a common goal. set aside the politics/red tape and let's focus on promoting the sport.
gee jun, what a non-sequitur. Thought this post was about tv ratings and professional tennis coverage, please keep the comments relevant.
All great points guys, yes the tennis channel is a God send. What really worries me is that the other day I took a tennis magizine to my high school practice to show them some pictures of the serve, some of the girls were browsing through and saw a picture of Rafeal Nadal and wanted to know who he was. They thougt he was cute, I asked the question don't you guys ever watch tennis on T.V. the answer, Tennis is on T.V. If the current trend continues, tennis huge in Europe, non-existant almost here, Tennis meet Track and field, which we see once every 4 years.
Racketeer, You're right about that. The non-sequitur occurred after the first third of the comment and before the second two thirds.... it's another conversation Jun and I are having really. :-)

racketeer said:
Mark / Mr. Mayor said:
gee jun, what a non-sequitur. Thought this post was about tv ratings and professional tennis coverage, please keep the comments relevant.

Say that again? Ratings have to do with the popularity of the sport and the current absence of American heroes has nothing to do with that?

Interesting story Dean - I think the real way to get people hooked on watching TV tennis is to get them to see pro tennis in person - somehow have more pro tennis matches played in more cities. Once you see it live, then you appreciate it so much more.
What in the world are you and jun doing arguing over english lit, I speak and write 3 launguages english, southern english, and bad english. Now to your point, I agree, however the only way some U.S towns are going to get pro tennis are have an exhibition match which is a one nite traveling road show. Now I do think that would spark some interest if ticket prices were low enough to draw a big crowd of casual sports fans as well as tennis buffs. And to be totally honest, something SA tennisguy and I were talking about tonight, it's hard to get tennis players to do anything, we seem to be a rather independant bunch. I just think al of the above T.V ratings, going to matches going to hit arounds and clinics, giving free clinics to kids, or whtever, comes down to how much do we LOVE THE GAME and do we want to see it grow and stay healthy. Or do we just want to beat Fred and Ethell on saturday afternoons. One of my biggest frustrations, weather it's coaching High school, giving lessons, or talking tennis with friends is they don't love the game like I do. Thats all my hangup but I can't help it. All I want is for tennis players and fans to love and really care about the game. If they don't, remember Roller Derby, neither does anyone else.
thank you dean. this is really not about TV but it should be about what can you contribute to promote the sport. this site is a perfect example. you get to discuss and disagree on tennis issues. but at the end of the day, it's what you can do to help grow the game.
and mayor, even though you and i do disagree on some things, we can always do something we both enjoy. play the game!!
Yep!
But I must say that Dean's original post about watching tennis to get more tennis on TV would definitely help the sport grow as well. Actually, among traditional sports, tennis is growing again at the fastest rate.

Jun, I think you just happen to be in a non-tennis friendly city... Is that a possibility? I know that ABQ, where I live, is also not much of a tennis town. Personally, I think it is cultural to some degree and also just embedded in the city's history. i.e, they've never had many courts and so never really played tennis, and never added any courts because there was no need - so it is like an endless cycle. Also Albuquerque is at a very high altitude which, in my opinion, makes tennis tougher to play and takes some of the fun out of it. So, I know where you are coming from when you talk about growing the game in your town (Portland area).
M


jun said:
thank you dean. this is really not about TV but it should be about what can you contribute to promote the sport. this site is a perfect example. you get to discuss and disagree on tennis issues. but at the end of the day, it's what you can do to help grow the game.
and mayor, even though you and i do disagree on some things, we can always do something we both enjoy. play the game!!

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