Wimbledon Semifinals Wrecked For You By NBC (Again)

UPDATE: Good news, tennis fans.  No thanks to NBC, you can watch the semifinal live here, on ustream (ESPN Spain).  And here’s another, better one, in English.

UPDATE 2:  It’s noon ET, and NBC has finally started broadcasting.  As expected, however, the network idiots have decided to show the match on a 2-hour tape delay (online, too!), so it’s not worth watching.  Click the link above to see it live.

UPDATE 3: We kept the TV on long enough to assure ourselves that NBC really was deaf enough to show the whole match on tape delay instead of picking it up live in the middle of a tense 3rd set.  Having now assured ourselves of that, we’ve turned the TV off.  For the rest of the afternoon, we’ll blame NBC for making us watch on a tiny low-res screen with commentary in Spanish instead of on a flat screen in HD–but we’ll be thrilled and relieved that we at least have that option.  There are 4,000 of us watching live on UStream right now.  Feel free to join us.  Or watch it here, in English.

EARLIER: Following on its disastrous “coverage” of the Wimbledon quarterfinals, NBC is now wrecking the Wimbledon semifinals.

Andy Murray and Andy Roddick are a tight first set (Roddick’s up 4-3). ESPN, which owns the rights for this hour, can’t show the match on TV because NBC won’t let them. 

NBC, meanwhile, refuses to show the match online, because that might dilute its TV audience when it finally bothers to put Wimbledon on the air.

So here are your choices:

  • Watch last year’s Wimbledon final on ESPN 2
  • Check the point by point coverage online at Wimbledon.org
  • Curse NBC
  • All of the above

NBC will take over the TV broadcasting rights at NOON, ET.  So for the next 45 minutes or so, we can pray hard that they’ll do the right thing and pick up the match in progress.  After all, 90% of the pleasure of watching live sports is…watching live sports.  And anyone who cares about an esoteric sport like tennis enough to waste part of a holiday watching it wants to watch it live.

But here’s a little bet on the side…  Based on NBC’s previous terrible coverage decisions at Wimbledon, we’re betting they’re going to show the Roddick-Murray match on tape delay, from the beginning.  Which will make it a waste of time for anyone who actually cares about the sport–who can find out the real-time results on Google, on Yahoo Finance, and point-by-point here.

We’ve asked NBC for an explanation of why it chooses to outrage tennis fans (and Olympics fans) year after year like this.  We’re asking not because we want to embarrass them but because we’re just stunned that the network could behave this way and we want to know what the logic is. 

It’s about money, obviously.  And in that regard, we understand why the network wouldn’t dare pre-empt the Today show to show live sports.  But we can’t for the life of us understand why NBC elects not to show matches live when it finally deigns to put Wimbledon on the air.

Roddick just won the first set 6-4.  We look forward to reading how he did it.

Addendum: We have another question for NBC: Jeff Zucker, we believe, is a tennis fan.  We assume Dick Ebersol is, too.  Are we supposed to believe that these two folks are settling for watching a two-hour tape delay?

Addendum 2: Match now level at 1 set apiece, courtesy ustream.

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