Just because we've accepted the fact that NBC refused to show the epic Roddick-Murray match live today in the United States doesn't mean that the rest of the country has. Though this shoddy treatment from NBC has been going on for years, tennis fans now have more outlets than ever in which to vent their frustration.
Between Twitter, Facebook and me yelling over the fence to my neighbor, the uproar over the tape delayed match (which ended in an Andy Roddick victory in a fourth set tiebreak as NBC was showing the beginning of the third set) was louder than ever.
At one point during the match there were over 100 tweets per minute about NBC's Wimbledon coverage, 99 of which were anti-network. (The other one complained that The Ellen Show was being pre-empted.) Even Bill Simmons got into the fray, complaining about the coverage by beating the same joke into the ground for a solid 30 minutes.
Here's a small sampling of what was being said. (And this doesn't include all the ones with NBC-directed profanity or links to illegal sites where people were attempting to watch the match live.)
@xuswimmer13 thanks NBC for putting one of the most exciting tennis matches of the year on tape delay instead of showing it live
@alexrolfe Dear NBC, ty so much for showing today show instead of Wimbledon live in vegas. I love knowing who wins before getting to watch! Love, alex
@thebleedingear is NBC not the WORST tennis coverage ever? I can't watch matches live on TV or on the web. Ugh. Pitiful.
@SarahKM3 Yeah! NBC is playing the Roddick-Murray match from the start! Woohoo!
@willjedmonds NBC should not be allowed to bid on live sporting events. They've had their chance and they've blown it. They can't be trusted.
@Joexc90 Roddick and Federer in the wimbledon final. I wonder if NBC is actually going to show it live.
Will this uprising lead to any changes next year?
It would stand to reason, but this isn't the first time this has happened. These are business decisions and if NBC thinks it's a better business decision to air the match on tape delay, then that's what they're going to do. It's the same reason the network didn't show Michael Phelps' races live on the west coast during the Olympics.
I get that there's a contract and NBC gets to only show one match, but it can't be that hard to make a flexible start time for the coverage. Whenever the second semifinal starts, NBC should begin its coverage. There will be a lot less people upset about missing a segment on cooking pot roasts on the fourth hour of The Today Show than were calling for NBC's head today.
Make it happen, NBC. This travesty has gone on long enough. Staying cemented in archaic traditions merely because that's the way it's always been done isn't a good enough excuse. Tennis fans deserve better.