A Masters Dilemma

Posted in tennis, tv at 4:39 pm by danvk

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the world’s #1 and #2 tennis players, are facing off tonight in the finals of the Monte Carlo Masters in Rome. They’ll be on at 5:26 AM Pacific Time, which is OK by me. I’ve woken up at stranger times to watch tennis matches before.

So far, so good. Unfortunately, according to the TV listings, I’d be better off if I lived in Thailand or the Middle East. It’s only being shown live on The Tennis Channel in the US. I thought I got TTC, but it must have been a teaser offer. I get it no more. My only option is to watch it on atpmastersseries.tv.

Their offer must be well thought out, because I’m completely on the fence. I can put up $7.95 and watch the match live in Windows Media Player tomorrow morning, or I can leave it. If the price point were $1 or $2, I’d do this without even thinking. But $8 is a bit steep.

I wish the calculus of live sports were different. I’m sure the ATP Masters Series would do fine if they broadcast all their matches live for free, with advertising. It’s not like you can skip the ads on a live broadcast, and sports programming loses almost all its value once it’s not live. CBS made a bold move to broadcast college basketball free online during March Madness. I wish the ATP Masters Series would do the same, so I wouldn’t have to think about paying my $8…


  1. Fratrik said,

    April 22, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I guess it was bold of CBS. But they tried to only broadcast games that you couldn’t see on television. So they also only did it while there was more than one game playing at a time. Nowadays, a movie costs $8, and lasts about as long the tennis match. If I were you, I’d go for it.

  2. danvk said,

    April 22, 2007 at 10:45 am

    That’s true, I guess it was a semi-bold move. The thing with movies is you can watch them whenever you like. I would have had to watch this at 5:30 AM. If it had been a few hours later, I would have gone for it. But it’s good that I didn’t, it didn’t look like an especially great match. Nadal won 6-4, 6-4 (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=2845580).