After years of complaining about the way NBC handles live coverage from the French Open and Wimbledon, we've hit the final step in the five stages of grief. It has taken a long time for us to reach this crucial step in dealing with the inexplicable blackouts and tape delay used by the network in its weekday Wimbledon coverage, but we've finally learned to stop worrying and
love accept NBC's bomb.
At first we were in denial. "There's no way NBC can't be showing this match live. Why wouldn't they?" Then came anger. "I'm writing a letter ... A strongly-worded letter!" After that, we bargained. "Well, at least ESPN shows a match live, so it's not like it's that bad." That was followed by depression. "Let's forget about tennis, at least the WNBA shows games live." Now though, we've accepted it. The most anticipated Wimbledon match in the last decade will not be shown on live television in the United States and we all just have to deal with it. Death, taxes, second Wimbledon semifinal blackouts.
Even though the Andy Roddick-Andy Murray semifinal began at 10:35 a.m. ET, the match is blacked out on ESPN because of the split-semifinal deal that network has with NBC. Yet, when NBC coverage begins at noon, it's almost certain that they'll air the match from the beginning, even though the players will be in the second or third set at that time. (If we were still in the anger stage, we'd comment on the absurdity that a majority of people are off work today and showing a live tennis match between an American and a Brit would be a welcome mid-morning diversion. But we're accepting, not angry. Not angry at all.)
Again, this is nothing new and we have to deal with it. It may be absurd, preposterous and, frankly, stupid, but let's look at the bright side and hope that NBC and ESPN change their archaic policies next year. Of course, that would involve us going to the sixth step of grief: delusion.