"Stars Ordered to be Media Friendly" [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

"Stars Ordered to be Media Friendly"

Tricky_Forehand
01-02-2004, 08:11 AM
I found this while I was cruising all the Aussie papers. Yet, another reason to be irritated at the ATP. While I can understand some of this stuff the thing that pisses me off the most is expecting these guys to give some sort of sound bite as they walk on the court. Do they really need to be answering stupid, petty questions before they go out to play a match? Most of the hard core fans understand the need to concentrate and the "casual fans" won't give anymore of a crap then they did before because i doubt the questions before a match would be very insightful. And it's not like this requirement will introduce the casual fan to a new player because it sounds like this is geared towards the "stars." And for those of us here in the States we know what (or who) that means :rolleyes: . As if we don't see them enough. Anyway, here's the article. Sorry for the rant.

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From "The Advertiser":

By LEO SCHLINK in Melbourne
02jan04
THE world's leading male tennis players have been ordered to become accessible to the media, including a demand for competitors to take part in television interviews as they walk on to court for matches.

In a plan designed to further popularise the sport, ATP players have been given a list of commitments which, if not fully met after a three-month trial period, will result in fines that double with every offence.

ATP executive Chris Clouser says the changes in media commitments are "an effort to enhance the media-player relationship and to hopefully expand the amount of promotion dedicated to tennis".

There is no mention in Clouser's letter to players of former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt's multi-million dollar legal action against with the ATP over interview requests ahead of his first-round match in Cincinnati 15 months ago, a dispute which has now reached the South Australian Supreme Court.

Under the new rules, which will be introduced from the weekend, players are required to:

TAKE part in pre-tournament interviews of up to an hour's duration;

PERFORM a pre-match interview with television during walk-on before a match.

The interview is not to exceed two minutes.

Broadcasters (not players) will have the option to request the interview take place at the practice courts on the day of the match.

SUBMIT to an interview of up to five minutes with host broadcasters after winning a match.

APPEAR within 30 minutes at a post-match press conference. Exceptions to the rule will be made only for injured players or those with good cause.

Clouser has told players no fines will be applied during the first three months of the 2004 season to "allow players, ATP staff, broadcasters and tournaments to adjust to these changes".

The ATP board will then meet at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami, where the new rules will be ratified and will take immediate affect.

Clouser said ATP player council and board "felt that a stronger commitment was needed to ensure standards and expectations are consistent for all matches and players".

"Today's ATP players are among the most interesting and talented athletes in the world," he wrote.

"This new media initiative was undertaken to provide the best forums to demonstrate this fact to the press."

In his letter to players, Clouser indicates the ATP will continue to order players to forfeit half their prizemoney – or a specified fine – if they violate the Tour's STARS program, which requires competitors to complete certain obligations to media, sponsors or the tournament.

maratski
01-02-2004, 09:41 AM
I read about this on another board yesterday and I don't agree with all the decisions. Imagine a stuttering Ivo Karlovic having to give an interview before walking on court.

Action Jackson
01-02-2004, 09:47 AM
It's a joke actually, I can understand why Hewitt couldn't be bothered doing a stupid Q&A before his match against Ginepri in Cincinatti. The best thing was he won 6-0, 6-0.

I wonder which players on the council were for it? Too bad they don't have guys like Rios, Kafelnikov, Rosset on the player council, then I don't think it would have got through.

Imagine if they wanted to interview Coria and demanded that he spoke in English?

Tricky_Forehand
01-02-2004, 11:42 AM
Imagine if they wanted to interview Coria and demanded that he spoke in English?

Exactly!! It's a bunch of crap that this is about player/media relations. These "requirements" are only going to make things worse. These decisions definitely had nothing to do with the players themselves. More like the media whining, crying, and stomping their feet till they got their way.

Action Jackson
01-02-2004, 12:00 PM
Sometimes press conferences can be funny, hopefully it wasn't the American networks that were complaining about the lack of access to players?

I mean if I was going to a play a match, I don't want some clown asking inane questions before I was about to walk on to play.

After match interviews when they win, yeah that is fair enough but it shouldn't go on forever, next they will be demanding them to sign at least 150 autographs after the match.

Imagine a pre-interview with Marcelo Rios
Q: So how are you feeling at the moment?
A: Like you or anyone else really cares

Q: How is the injury going?
A: Same as before, I have pain, maybe it be good, maybe not. I don't know.

Q: What are your tactics going to be today?
A: To win

Q: What if they aren't working during the match?
A: Then I lose

WyverN
01-02-2004, 12:06 PM
While I can see how it is unfair on the players I can't really complain about it as it is done to promote tennis and that is always a good thing.

maratski
01-02-2004, 12:13 PM
There are limits you know. There won't be too serious questions asked in a pre-match interview I assume, but I still think some players won't feel comfortable doing it and you simply cannot force them. It might disturb the concentration of some players.

Action Jackson
01-02-2004, 12:17 PM
Yes, promoting the game is very important but there needs to be a balance, which I don't think some of these proposals address.

The after match thing is fine, yes the attendence at the press conference is alright, but the walk-on interview is a joke, players should have this time just before a match to themselves to focus and concentrate on the task.

In the Slams they have days off and also there is enough time to do the media committments, and hopefully some of these journalists could do some research and ask some intelligent questions, that would help a lot.

Dirk
01-02-2004, 03:36 PM
Actually Hewitt had from the Wednesday before the tournament began which was on Monday to do the interview so there is no reason he couldn't make time. Take part in pre tournament interviews up to a hour? I know tennis is exciting but not that exciting, these guys will run out of things to say. I think it would work better if the networks at the event would approach all of the players (see that CBS and ESPN!!) and work it out with them instead of going through North Korea, I mean the union. :o

Vass
01-02-2004, 04:09 PM
WOW, before I was for the ATP, but now I'm feeling like telling Ferreira to hurry up with his organization.
How do they differenciate the "stars" from 'non-stars'? And how do they deal with players who don't think they are stars (Marat's fans know who I mean)? ;)

tangerine_dream
01-02-2004, 04:16 PM
THE world's leading male tennis players have been ordered to become accessible to the media, including a demand for competitors to take part in television interviews as they walk on to court for matches.

Oh, this will go over very well with Hewitt. :eek:

Deboogle!.
01-02-2004, 04:25 PM
This just seems well...... dumb.

Kiara
01-02-2004, 04:35 PM
Didnt Davenport do a live pre match interview at this years USO...thats the first time I'd ever seen that being done and was rather surprised...

Deboogle!.
01-02-2004, 04:39 PM
Once in a while they will. Not as much anymore, though. I feel like I haven't really seen it in the past year or two anyway.

In theory, this is a good idea. But, I don't see how a 2minute pre-match interview will really help tennis? I mean, the people watching at that moment are the people who'd be watching anyway. And it seems awfully rigid. There'd be a way to enact new rules that are more flexible, I should think. Plus a lot of players make themselves available anyway.

I dunno, the first word that comes to my mind when reading the regulations is "bitchy" LOL

Shy
01-02-2004, 04:45 PM
It is not only up to the players to promote tennis sinnce a lots of them do their job, but also to the media.

MisterQ
01-02-2004, 06:33 PM
Preparation time is very important for anyone who has to go out there and perform well: athletes, musicians, actors, etc. Some people can handle distractions in this period better than others --- some need a period to gather themselves, concentrate, meditate, whatever works for them. Interviews are potentially quite distracting. I don't think the players should have to submit to interviews before the match if they don't want to.

*Ljubica*
01-02-2004, 06:39 PM
Preparation time is very important for anyone who has to go out there and perform well: athletes, musicians, actors, etc. Some people can handle distractions in this period better than others --- some need a period to gather themselves, concentrate, meditate, whatever works for them. Interviews are potentially quite distracting. I don't think the players should have to submit to interviews before the match if they don't want to.

Excellent post MisterQ - I agree totally. Some people just won't be able to handle these "distractions" through no fault of their own and will be at an immediate disadvantage on the match. Stupid idea in my opinion.

Vass
01-02-2004, 06:51 PM
Couln't they order the players to have an interview 2-3 hours before the match and then show it during the players prepare in peace and quiet?

baseline ace
01-02-2004, 06:53 PM
I'm all for the players helping to promote the sport but breaking a players concentration just before he takes the court is asinine to say the least.
I can see asking a player give an interview the day before and also after a match but this is kinda silly IMHO.
Unlike team sports tennis is one guy out there against another one. Once his concentration is broken he has no place to hide. :rolleyes:

Deboogle!.
01-02-2004, 07:03 PM
Couln't they order the players to have an interview 2-3 hours before the match and then show it during the players prepare in peace and quiet?

That'd be better, but even then I could see some players who really get into a zone and would rather not be asked idiotic questions from someone who barely understands tennis anyway LOL

Gonzo Hates Me!
01-02-2004, 07:22 PM
I don't mind this. If certain "stars" mind it, then sorry to them, but they're in a very public world anyway. And I think the bigger players will be targeted, so I assume they must be kinda used to having the spotlight on them. I mean-- I personally don't think this is a gargantuan intrusion

maratski
01-02-2004, 07:36 PM
I don't quite agree with you Nwando. The top 10 players might be used to all the attention and might deal with it a lot better then lower ranked players. Imagine those qualifiers or players who get in with a wildcard and have to face a top seed in the first round on centre court. I think it might be difficult for them, cause they might now be used to it and because of their concentration.

Ma. Estefania
01-02-2004, 09:53 PM
Honestly I don't mind that much about this. I mean....yes, it's sort of dumb coz everyone needs some time to prepare, to focus, etc. before something important for them; but by other side....it would be nice at least IMO, you know, maybe to see in some way how are they in that moment, I don't know....

Anyway, anything to promote tennis is fine to me....though yeah, there must be a balance, but...I don't think this is THAT much like to say that this is something TOTALLY wrong.

Chloe le Bopper
01-02-2004, 10:27 PM
While I can see how it is unfair on the players I can't really complain about it as it is done to promote tennis and that is always a good thing.
I agree.

A few seconds before the match and what not isn't going to kill them. These guys get paid millions of dollars a year (the top guys, that is)... they have no right to bitch. Yes Hewitt, I'm looking at you.

I find it highly unlikely that they would "force" Coria to speak in English, because frankly, that wouldn't make for very good television. They are only going to show interest in the guys that are going to get on TV... so why would they waste time harassing Coria and Karlovic? Unless they are playing Agassi or whoever, even then. It sounds unreasonable that they would do this without an interpreter, much like the press conferences. (btw... I'm looking at this from an American TV perspective, since that is the feed I get in Canada. Obviously different parts of Europe, Asia, etc. would want to see different people... however, I doubt that there would be any English issue in these cases)

I really dont' see what the big deal is?

Chloe le Bopper
01-02-2004, 10:30 PM
Honestly I don't mind that much about this. I mean....yes, it's sort of dumb coz everyone needs some time to prepare, to focus, etc. before something important for them; but by other side....it would be nice at least IMO, you know, maybe to see in some way how are they in that moment, I don't know....

Anyway, anything to promote tennis is fine to me....though yeah, there must be a balance, but...I don't think this is THAT much like to say that this is something TOTALLY wrong.
In the NHL (ice hockey) they interview players between periods. The equivalent would be interviewing tennis players between sets.

The media is also given a free run of the lockerroom and workout area after games, in the NHL.

These guys have NOTHING to bitch about :p

Chloe le Bopper
01-02-2004, 10:34 PM
I don't quite agree with you Nwando. The top 10 players might be used to all the attention and might deal with it a lot better then lower ranked players. Imagine those qualifiers or players who get in with a wildcard and have to face a top seed in the first round on centre court. I think it might be difficult for them, cause they might now be used to it and because of their concentration.
To them I say: Oh well. They'll just have to deal with it. Tennis players are SO protected and closed off from the outside world, that I'm not really in the least bit surprised to read the outrage over some perfectly logical suggestions.

Joe Blow who is surfing on a Saturday afternoon in early September, might be interested to hear what Andy Roddick has to spit out 5 minutes before his match. It immediately gives the casual viewer a personality to latch on to... or to detest ;)

Ma. Estefania
01-02-2004, 10:42 PM
It immediately gives the casual viewer a personality to latch on to... or to detest ;)

Well said Becca. ;) That's my point too.

star
01-02-2004, 11:11 PM
Two minutes.

I mean they go out and do a lot of things just before a match. It's not like they walk onto the court and immediately start playing. There's the coin toss, the warm-up, the getting their equipment ready.... so they have a lot of routines they can use to get their mind all set on the match. I don't think two minutes is going to have a big impact.

And when people bring up the argument about the lower ranked players......... as I understand it, the rule doesn't apply to them.

WyverN
01-02-2004, 11:18 PM
I dont see why lower ranked players would hate to be interviewed.

If I was a lower ranked player struggling on the tour I would love to be interviewed and shown on tv, even if it was pre match.

Tricky_Forehand
01-03-2004, 12:16 AM
I guess it just all depends on the level of respect that you think these guys deserve or how much you respect them. Personally, I find that the fact that these are requirements and that the guys have no say is what's disrespectful. I don't think they should have to succumb to the whim of an ignorant reporter before they go out on the court. If this is going the way the way that it looks it might be...it's going to be miserable.

Also, just because some of these guys make a lot of money that shouldn't mean that they automatically give away their free will.

What's also getting me is that all this responsibility is being put on the player's to promote the sport. Hello?! What about the media as well? ESPN seems to complain that not all players are know in the States. Exactly whose fault is that? When all ESPN shows is two players then no, the "casual fan" won't know about any other players.

It's a two way street and everything shouldn't be laid on the player's shoulders. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks this way though :confused:

Gonzo Hates Me!
01-03-2004, 01:09 AM
I agree with everything that Ma. Estefania and Becca have said. It seems a bit demanding that they are making it "requirements" and the players have "no say..." That does sound a bit sinister, lol. But, like Becca implied, cry me a river! LOL!

I just think, in everyone's life, no matter who you are, there is something you're not gonna like or agree with. If you are a tennis player and you do get paid a shitload for doing what you love to do, then this is something so insignificant to the grand scheme of things.

Tricky_Forehand
01-03-2004, 03:26 AM
If you are a tennis player and you do get paid a shitload for doing what you love to do, then this is something so insignificant to the grand scheme of things.

Most Tennis players don't get paid a "shitload" and these requirements weren't even made to get to know the lesser known (lesser known to the casual fan, anyway) players, even though I think that's what the ATP wants us to believe :rolleyes: .The ATP seems to implying that this is getting closer to the players. It's not. I can only go by ESPN but, in my opinion, this is so that ESPN can get their way without having to throw a temper tantrum.

As I said before, I agree with some of this but to interview a player as they walk on court? Don't we get annoyed enough as it is to hear the same dumbass questions that are asked over and over?

I don't know maybe it's because i've met some of these guys and I don't think they deserve this treatment. Or maybe I'm missing the point altogether. I see them as people who deserve respect first rather than commodities to be strutted around and have to answer questions like robots :shrug:. They have enough committments as is.

Also, wit this crap what will be the need for players to want to talk one on one with some fans. The media will pry so much that some of these guys who make time for some of their "fans" will no longer be in the mood. Just how I see it. But I guess this whole issue depends on the angle.

Action Jackson
01-03-2004, 08:39 AM
Of course it's a two-way thing, sure some players could be better with the media, then again there are some who see the media as idiotic morons who ask unintelligent questions.

It's up to the interviewer to bring the best out of the subject, not the other way around. It seems like ESPN are the ones who were complaining about lack of access.

Queen Rebecca the players aren't that closed off, I think their inaccessibilty thing is overrated. Obviously if they play the media game, then they will get positive coverage whether it's deserved or not.

Sure they are public figures, and in some cases their individual right to privacy is compromised by their status and on occassion their actions, but in many cases people are only going to see a manufactured media image anyway.

Chloe le Bopper
01-03-2004, 09:25 AM
Most Tennis players don't get paid a "shitload" and these requirements weren't even made to get to know the lesser known (lesser known to the casual fan, anyway) players, even though I think that's what the ATP wants us to believe

It's not as if they are going to interview EVERY SINGLE PLAYER before their match.

Do you really think that the media is going to bother Koubek vs some Qualie at the USO, before their match?

The players that they will be "bothering" will more often than not, be those that are used to the spotlight... and those who happen to be playing them.

So I really don't see what the problem here is.

The players who DO make a shitload, will be the ones that this is geared to.

Action Jackson
01-03-2004, 09:29 AM
At least Koubek would be more of an interesting interview than some of the higher ranked players.

The USO would be lucky to say his name correctly, letalone interview him.

Chloe le Bopper
01-03-2004, 09:29 AM
What is with this "it's just not right! they have no say!" arguement that is floating around?

Um, hello. Welcome to the real world! There are about 1600 things about my jobs that I have HATED doing, but had to do anyways. It was a matter of having a job or not.

God forbid we throw some more media responsibilities at these guys - who should be thanking their lucky stars that there are people who care enough about them to want to listen to them in the first place.

I'd taking standing in front of a camera and shooting my mouth off for two minutes before work to do the crap that I do anyday, thanks.

As Mrs Guga said.... cry me a fucking river :p

Chloe le Bopper
01-03-2004, 09:30 AM
At least Koubek would be more of an interesting interview than some of the higher ranked players.

The USO would be lucky to say his name correctly, letalone interview him.
Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't mind hearing from him... but they don't gear their programming towards me - I'll watch whoever they show :p They gear it towards Joe Blow, who unfortunately, only cares about Andre and Andy :(

Action Jackson
01-03-2004, 09:37 AM
I don't live in North America Rebecca so I am thankful I don't have to put up with total saturation of Roddick and Agassi. Then again we won't be getting the same crap as you do.

Agassi won't be around much longer, but yes he is very popular globally and they will always try and interview him.

One word answers should the standard answers to the moronic questions, that they ask.

Let's see if the ATP have the balls to fine the first player that doesn't follow some of these sillier suggestions.

Chloe le Bopper
01-03-2004, 09:46 AM
The only thing that I don't like about this, is that it will make Roddick come off really well ;) He's one of the types who is just extraverted enough to blab his mouth off for no particular reason, about anything at all. He does it all the time, and unfortunately, Joe Blow digs that sort of crap.

Being an introvert myself, I've always found these people extremely annoying ;)

Action Jackson
01-03-2004, 09:54 AM
Very true Rebecca, then again it depends on where people are. In some places they are suspicious if people sound off about things that don't have any intent. Unfortunately I don't think that concerns that landmass that is south of where you are at the moment.

If I had to do that, there are 2 ways I would deal with it, one just give 1 word answers or just make light of the questions that were asked.

I don't think two minutes of Roddick can have that much effect, then again it depends on who the individual is I suppose.

Chloe le Bopper
01-03-2004, 09:57 AM
There are certain outgoing players that I do not mind hearing blab, though. Younes is a good one. I find him highly entertaining. The fact that he doesn't consciously try to appeal to any one demographic certainly doesn't hurt his case :)

Action Jackson
01-03-2004, 10:07 AM
Younes is very different from most players on the tour, he had a difficult time as there weren't any Moroccans on the circuit.

With Younes it would have to be more than 2 minutes before the match, he deserves a long er feature. The guy with the injuries and couldn't train fully until he was 17 and being multilingual give him an advantage.

As I said it's up to the journalists/interviewers to bring the best out of their subjects, not the other way around.

Deboogle!.
01-03-2004, 03:55 PM
the thing is, if it's only meant for top players, they do most of this stuff anyway. They DO those little 30-second sound byte interviews right before walking off the court, they do the interviews right after the match (sometimes even when they LOSE), they do all of it... Andy's known to give an interview pretty much to anyone who wants it whenever they ask, so for this to be just for the top players doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, since Hewitt's the only one I've heard about being obstinate.

star
01-03-2004, 04:00 PM
Tennis more than most sports depends on the individual players to be active in promoting the sport.

It's too bad that these sorts of "rules" have to be made. I don't know if there has been a problem with the players being "media friendly" that requires these rules. The players ought to know that they have to work with the media to support the game.

Also I think sometimes sports writers write really snotty stories about tennis, and that doesn't help with the general public either. I think that the reporters get a jaundiced look at the way some of the players act in their dealings with the press.

Deboogle!.
01-03-2004, 04:13 PM
I definitely agree, star, so the question begs - is forcing someone to do something the best way to get it done? The way I see it, if the players don't like the rules, they'll just be more stubborn and bitchy about it than ever lol. Maybe not, maybe it'll really help - it'd be nice!

Action Jackson
01-04-2004, 09:26 AM
How is this going to make tennis any better, "more media-friendly" or marketable? It's just some silly clown coming up with an alleged brainwave that they came up with at one of those silly conferences.

michelleg
01-04-2004, 10:29 PM
Damn fools over at the ATP can't even get freaking draws posted properly/timely...and they complain about media access to the players?

Lisbeth
01-04-2004, 10:52 PM
Oh great, plastic players ready to deliver pre-approved, inoffensive yet dull comments at the drop of a hat. Might be "media friendly" but who wants to watch it?

JeLuliA88
01-05-2004, 12:51 AM
What a load of crap! No wonder some players are fed up with the ATP...