29 May, 2014

Thoughts On Tennis (Channel)

My nascent return to the blogsphere commences with my wading into the conversation that's been running over the last couple of days on Twitter about Tennis Channel.  During my self-imposed hiatus, I started and ultimately aborted a post about the network that the recent conversations implored me to dust off and update.

Let's start here: for all its faults, the mere existence of a network devoted to tennis is a major win for American fans. As any fan who can tell his 250s from his 500s knows, the tennis season is a 24/7/365 global carnival stretching from Auckland to Stockholm and seemingly every point on the globe in between.  The old-school "take what we deign to show you" network TV model simply doesn't fit in a sport where six tournaments, across multiple continents and time zones can be going on in any given week.  I mean, hypothetically, how can network affiliates schedule cash-cow infomercials if Aga Radwanska goes into a third set in the Seoul final at 3AM Eastern?  Theoretically, how many CBS affiliates will pre-empt the US Open men's final again if a matchup between, say, the two best players in the world would otherwise encroach on their lucrative prime access bloc and The Insider's wall-to-wall coverage on the next disposable reality TV stars' divorce?  Tennis Channel doesn't have these issues and for that alone, the channel's a positive presence.

That said, the network has its challenges; the largest of which is that it's hard to get.  While I have no direct knowledge of Tennis Channel's strategies, until recently they seem to have been working on a three angles to graduate to the upper tier of sports networks.

28 May, 2014

Where I've Been

That deep blue on beneath the horizon is the Sea of Cortez

First off, it's immensely flattering that I've had a few people ask me where I've (or more to the point, Blackabel Tennis) been has over the past year or so.  To quote Serena Williams, it all comes down to this thing called "life."