When I hunkered down on Saturday to watch live tennis from Wimbledon on NBC (with its vaunted ‘Breakfast at Wimbledon’ program), I expected to see just that. After watching the women’s final–admittedly, not a great spectacle–I was interested to hear to this would be followed by coverage of the men’s doubles final. The doubles do not get much coverage, so this was welcome news, especially as the Bryan brothers were on cue to tie a record for most Grand Slam victories. NBC presumably paid good money for the privilege of showing the matches live. Why then did they decide midway through the men’s doubles final to cut away and air a 50-year tribute to Billie-Jean King? Such a tribute is very worthy, but why show it at the expense of live action? If I knew the answer, perhaps I would be an excellent head of some media enterprise.
I see, from a quick search on the Internet, that NBC has a history of not being happy to show live tennis when it can. Is it that the network only has a limited tolerance for the real drama of events unfolding as they happen, rather than knowing what the outcomes will be? Please send any answers to me. I am nothing if not very curious about this bizarre policy.