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Old 2011-07-04, 03:16 PM   #31
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It looks like the NBC/Versus plan was simply outbid. Though NBC's piecemeal live coverage couldn't have impressed the All England Club or whoever grants the rights.

Last Monday at one time both NBC and ESPN (on TSN) were both showing the same match (Serena Williams!) with their own commentators. Later in the week NBC's Ted Robinson would say things like "we are now being joined by those in the Central time zone" followed an hour or so later by "we are now leaving coverage in the Eastern time zone but will be joined by those in the Pacific". I'm guessing some Americans had to switch to ESPN (maybe ESPN3 online) to get the full coverage of a match they started to watch. Obviously NBC didn't want certain programmes in their day time line-up to be pre-empted for Wimbledon thus the confusing back and forth. Judging by the responses at the NY Times tennis blog most fans are happy to see the back of NBC.
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Old 2011-07-04, 04:12 PM   #32
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NBC's weekday coverage was a bit confusing (wasn't bad here in Canada with NBC east/west feeds and TSN), but their coverage of the finals was first rate.

NBC promised live coverage coast-to-coast starting in 2014 when them and Versus would have taken over exclusive rights, had they won. ESPN's current weekday contract was supposed to run out in 2013.

I guess this is ESPN's "revenge" for NBC getting the Olympics? It sure is interesting to see these bidding wars between Fox/Comcast/ESPN (and even CBS) in the US and Rogers and TSN in Canada.
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Old 2011-07-07, 04:02 PM   #33
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TSN has confirmed that they will have the whole thing starting next year. The best part of the ESPN deal, from my point of view, is the concurrent coverage of the round of 16 and quarterfinals on ESPN/ESPN2 (TSN/TSN2 in Canada). That means we will get to see every quarterfinal.
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Old 2011-07-07, 08:28 PM   #34
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We will probably get the SportsCentre crawl at infinetum.
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