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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jon Wertheim's AO Mid-term grades

Here's more on what he says about ESPN
Right to the questions/rants this week....

Jakob Kans of Ann Arbor, Mich. asks: "Did ESPN get the memo that the Internet was invented years ago and viewers have access to live scoring?"... Tom Pullman of Miami inquires: "How is it that ESPN thinks it's smart to show Andre Agassi beating some qualifier while my live scoring tells me the Taylor Dent/Juan-Ignacio Chela match is at five-all in the fifth set? Ridiculous." ... Esha of Michigan wants to know: "Is there any way we can convince Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Juan Carols Ferrero, Mark Philippoussis, etc., to take up U.S. citizenship? If so, maybe ESPN will then show more matches involving those guys as opposed to the often dull contests that feature Americans." ... Robert Sciranko of Orlando inquires: "Why is it that ESPN and the other television networks have this opinion that we don't want to watch anyone but Americans play?"... Adrian Ewins of Saskatoon writes: "I know it's getting to be an old refrain, but here's more fodder for the 'Why don't the networks get it?' debate. I eagerly tuned in to opening day of Australian Open coverage on ESPN. Judging by the five-minute introductory piece, there are four contenders -- Andy Roddick and Agassi on the men's side and Linsday Davenport and Venus Williams on the women's. And what a coincidence -- they're all Americans!"

...Opines Greg Pietrykiewicz of Edmonton: "Being a first-generation Canadian with an unpronounceable (except in Poland) last name, my pet peeve has always been the mispronunciation of European names. Why can't American announcers learn that 'a' and 'i' have specific pronunciations in 90 percent of the languages in the world? The ESPN2 coverage of the Australian Open makes me want to puke. The host says one thing and the two announcers each say something else. 'Marat Safin' was pronounced five different ways (that I counted) in a half hour of coverage."

After about the 100th correspondence -- no joke -- griping about ESPN's Australian Open coverage, I stopped counting. But without question this was the hot button issue in Mailbagville. I'm in complete agreement with you guys: If you're enough of a tennis fan to tune into matches that often don't begin until midnight ET, it's unlikely you'd want to watch another Agassi/Roddick/Venus mauling at the expense of seeing better matches featuring -- get this -- non-Americans. And airing matches on tape-delay is so '80s. Don't we have the Classic Sports Network for that? One more point: ESPN's commitment to tennis is admirable and appreciated. But it would be nice if the schedulers thought long-term. It sure would be nice if the network devoted some coverage to players who will be on the tour five and 10 years hence, even if their matches don't stack up in the ratings. Think of it as an investment.

Anyway, I encourage you to redirect all that passion to:

c/o Tennis Division
ESPN Plaza
Bristol, CT 06010

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