After long time off fighting an annoying overuse injury, everyone is excited to see Rafael Nadal back on the tennis court, adding more excitement to the tennis tour. Many traveled to Indian Wells to see him and all the other great ones in action personally and those who stayed home were anticipating the Saturday semifinals with huge excitement.
Did you see that rally? Did you see that defense? Rafa plays great and the buzz goes on everywhere… However, as much as I was planning for this weekend TV watching, I did not see it.
I so wanted to see it.
In the morning before I leave to the courts to get my does of exercise, I go to set my DVR, looking for the matches in the TV guide: Tennis Channel, noting… ESPN2, nothing… well, I guess ABC or CBS? Nothing! I start getting irritated, go online and find the TV schedule. It says that both men’s semifinals are on ESPN News. I don’t even know that ESPN News exists, so I go back to my channel line-up and patiently search for ESPN News. Yeay, I found it! Ops, I need to buy this channel… what is going on, BNP Paribas or whoever is responsible for the TV coverage?
After returning from the courts and some good advice from friends how to watch the matches, with a big smile I go online to espn3.com to watch my favorite boy. And no, not Tomas Berdych, even though he is my Czech compatriot… And here we go again, espn3.com tells me the great news “This event is blacked out on ESPN3 in your area”. They must be kidding, right? Is the entire universe against me watching these great semifinal events?
Dear Larry Ellison (if you didn’t know, this tennis fan and active player himself, bought the BNP Paribas event, rescuing it from leaving US just like the Los Angeles tennis event did), we really appreciate all the great work you have done to make this event one of the best ones---if not The Best One---in the USA. For the players and for the fans. But Larry, did you know that ESPN is sabotaging your efforts? ESPN buried your great event so deep and far on the channel line-up that even the most dedicated fans gave up on figuring out how to watch the best men fighting in the desert sun. US tennis is struggling, and this is not helping.
Yes, I could have watched the "Brazil at U.S. in Davis Cup play in Jacksonville" on the Tennis Channel instead, but you know, I really really wanted to see Rafa in his comeback. ESPN, you are my least favorite among the entire the channel line-up.
So… if you did see the match, I envy you!
And I hope a little bird will tell Larry Ellison...