Friday, November 25, 2011

Is anybody watching the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals?

Is this a tournament that you’re taking time out of your day to watch, either live or tape delayed? Is the fact that it’s only on The Tennis Channel hurting your ability to see it (or interest in watching it)?

I have no idea what the Nielsen ratings are for this season ending tournament of the men’s professional tour, and I consider myself to be a pretty big tennis fan, but I’ve only watched very little of this event on TV even though I’ve taped several of the matches. I just can’t get in to it; it’s never seemed like a very important tournament (no offense to Roger Federer, who’s won it more than anyone).

I know it’s an honor for some to even make it into this round robin tournament (e.g. Janko Tipsarevic this year), but let’s face it: usually (not necessarily this year) a lot of the players are tired or injured, the men’s season is way too long, and many of us are no longer playing tennis either. I don’t know about you, but I’m more interested in watching the pros play when I’m playing more myself.

Even for those obsessed (can never get enough tennis) fans, that the tournament is airing exclusively on The Tennis Channel has to hurt the audience for the event. Plus, that it’s being played indoors, under unusual lighting and on an atypically colored court – a different ambience from what is usual – detracts from it as well, in my opinion.

Lastly, part of the reason I enjoy watching other (besides just the Grand Slam) tournaments on television is the commentators. Even when the tennis is mediocre, hearing Brad and Darren, or the McEnroes, talk about the play, the players and our sport can make it interesting and entertaining enough to watch. Without them, meh.

Still, I might be in the minority and, as always, I welcome others’ opinions.

1 comment:

  1. Tennis TV viewership, especially when Tennis Channel is the only network interested -- and that means over 80% of all televised events -- averages well under .2% (.002)of all households. TTC DARES not publish its actual average event viewership as it is hugely embarrassing!

    This colectively is a pitiful result and certainly has a hugley negative impact on advertising and general sports fan interest. Part of the blame falls on the elite non USA stars that come here only in March and mid August - September. Without big names in meaningful matchups, the vast majority of events mean little even to the cadre of remaining loyal fans.

    Federer has played arch rival Nadal here in the USA a grand total of two times in seven years (Miami). That's it. The ocassional big star exhibitions mean nothing because it's only for an easy payday and doesn't count. Hence pro tennis is at death's door, long ago left in the rear view mirror by even golf!