NBC chooses Wimbledon over presidential press conference

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

The following sentence may come as a shock to viewers on the West Coast who have to watch all weekday NBC tennis coverage on tape delay or those who were annoyed on Wednesday when the network showed clips of day-old press conferences rather than the start of the Rafael Nadal match: NBC decided live tennis was more important than something else; specifically, a presidential press conference.

While ABC, CBS and FOX aired live coverage of President Obama's press conference on Wednesday morning, NBC stuck with live Wimbledon coverage on the East Coast.

TVNewser reports:

Because NBC is carrying Wimbledon semi-finals [it's actually the quarters -- CC], NBC's Brian Williams will anchor a special report on MSNBC. Williams will then anchor a 3-minute nationwide special report for NBC stations at 1:57pm in each time zone.

[Watching Wimbledon? Let your friends know what you think with IntoNow.]

For viewers accustomed to NBC treating tennis like an unwanted burden, this is the programming equivalent of NHL playoff games being broadcast on a channel that's easy to find. NBC doesn't begin Wimbledon coverage until 10 a.m. in all time zones because doing so would mean cutting into the advertising dollars generated by the "Today" show. That leaves West Coasters without live tennis from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.. It was by stroke of luck that those fans were able to see Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeat Roger Federer during that time period Wednesday. The match had started on ESPN2, was picked up live by NBC on the East Coast at 10 a.m. and continued on both channels until its conclusion.

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