NBC did right by some tennis fans on Friday by showing the Andy Murray vs. Rafael Nadal semifinal live to viewers on the East Coast and Central time zones. The previous day, the network said it would only show the match live if it started after its coverage window began at noon ET. Nadal-Murray started a few minutes before noon, but NBC made the decision to join the match live in progress rather than airing it on a few minutes tape delay.
Viewers in the west did not receive similar treatment. They will see the full match beginning at noon in their respective time zones. Live streaming of the match is available across the country on NBCSports.com.
Now, let's not give too much credit to the Peacock Network for making the last-minute decision. If not for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga coming back to steal the third set from Novak Djokovic and pushing that match to the three-hour mark, this gracious act of television etiquette never would have come to fruition. The network was able to show Nadal-Murray live because it had just started when its coverage window began at noon ET and there was little difference in joining in during the third game of the match. If they had been in a second set, it's almost certain NBC would have shown the match on tape delay coast-to-coast.
That the live televised coverage of a sporting event is treated as a gift from the tennis gods continues to be insane. It's 2011. People in Los Angeles can read real-time updates of Twitter followers watching this match on Henman Hill or follow an illegal Internet stream of the BBC broadcast, yet can't flip on their own TV to watch the match? Pathetic.
Fret not, West Coast friends. While us lucky folks on the East Coast get to watch live tennis involving the defending Wimbledon champion and Great Britain's greatest title hope, you can be watching live in-depth tennis analysis like this: