The 2013 French Open is in high speed, and highly anticipated matches occurred Friday. For instance, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal squared off in the semifinals match that took 4 hours and 37 minutes. NBC holds the rights to the French Open yet didn’t show a lick of the match on NBC; rather, they showed it on the Tennis Channel. Instead of showing the Djokovic vs. Nadal match live, they showed their regularly scheduled Today Show.
This match between Nadal and Djokovic is easily an instant classic and should have been shown in its entirety on NBC. Why bid for a popular sports event if you aren’t going to show the prime matches on the network’s most popular station.
NBC ultimately failed sports fans and themselves. Their decision not to show the Djokovic-Nadal on NBC showed that they care more about cooking than tennis. While ESPN has its biases and many flaws, they at least show prime events live and in their entirety. For example, the 2013 NBA Finals are being shown on ABC and ESPN, depending on the game, in an effort to maximum viewership.
Today sports fans witnessed a new fail. NBC slapped sports fans in the face by showing the Today Show instead of a thrilling, action-packed five-set tennis match against two tennis greats. NBC, the least you could have done was shown the match on NBC Sports, but you failed to do that too.
As hesitant as I am to say this, next time NBC needs to take a page out of ESPN’s book, show big sports events on your best stations and don’t let a talk show trump the French Open Semifinals ever again. You failed big time NBC, and you better not do this again and let down millions of sports fans around the world.