Monday, July 23, 2007

Something's Missing

I don't know if I'd call John Mayer 'wise' for his life choices. You know, dating Jessica Simpson, making that scary "O!" face on stage all the time, or writing a song about Jennifer Love Hewitt that compares her tongue to bubblegum.

I do, however, agree with his song "Something's Missing" in the case of recent decisions made by tennis executives concerning online video clip web sites - namely YouTube - and the movement to remove tennis videos from said sites.

Perhaps this is my Rant of the Day (ROTD), and if so, that's just fine with me. But, to me, this just doesn't make sense for several reasons:

1. Fans Lose the Best Seat in the(ir) House
Tennis on TV has had its struggles. The Tennis Channel is doing their best, but before we have an all-access station that provides fan with COMPLETE tour coverage, using the internet as a post-match tube is something many fans do. Taking internet videos away from the fans will create a decrease in fan's interest because of their inability to watch matches they may have missed on TV, or that weren't broadcast at all. There has been too much fighting between ESPN, USA and ESPN over which network is the 'home' of tennis. My official home of tennis? YouTube.

2. Robs fans of their Personal Instant Replay (PIR)
I love my PIR. I don't know how many times I've watched Serena Williams shake her finger at that ridiculous US Open chair umpire in '04, or how many times I've cried listening to Andre say "I found you. I found you." from the Open last year. The removal of these videos will strip the fans of the PIR, and thus, lower interest once again. Fans like to relive the drama in whatever way that they can, and we've been conditioned now over the last year to have a PIR at our fingertips. However, removal of these videos will make the PIR only available to the players themselves - via Hawkeye. And it's not the players who make the tour go round, it's us, the fans.

Soon our only out will be live tennis - and god knows that's a little more expensive than a monthly internet bill! (Photo by chef x via flickr.)

3. Makes the Slams Slum
Tennis Australia, the USTA and the AELTC are the three culprits thus far in the YouTube crackdown of said videos. I'll do my best to get in touch with each of these organizations over the next week to see what their particular reasoning is, however, removing all tennis video from the majors alone makes them seem a little less major than they are. If the only tennis videos fans can find online are from ATP/WTA events, what will happen to the stats of the Big Four?

Tennis is struggling to keep up with today's sport world. Mis-managing tour schedules, player withdrawals and now a snobby nose at the king of all medias - the internet. While tennis may be more traditional than other global sports, it certainly isn't practicing the smartest of traditions in today's media-driven world.

(Much thanks to Erwin for firing me up over this.)

1 comment:

codepoke said...

You go!

Do these people learn nothing? They have a great product, and it's new every year. What tennis fanatic is going to settle for waiting X hours to see the replay on youtube? Instead, we all pay through the nose to get whatever live coverage we can get, then watch the replay on youtube.

Shut that down, and I just get mad.

If you smack a cat on the nose every time it does something wrong, all you do is teach the cat to fear fingers. It's the same with us. If you take away our replay, we don't suddenly decide to spend more money. We just pick another sport. It's the law of unintended consequences, and it's going to bite them bad. If they want to make the sport popular, they have to let us zing some videos around to our halfway "in" friends. They're sure not going to pay through the nose for something they don't even like yet.

Even crack dealers give some product away in the beginning.

I feel better now. Let me know if I can help.