Tennis Industry magazine



Tennis Role Models

Thank you for the article “Pros and Coaches as Role Models” by Bruce Knittle in the August issue (Your Serve). In a sport that is bound by etiquette, tennis needs to maintain this type of philosophy, not just for the game, but for life.

Brett A. Manoloff
Coach, Amesbury Girls Tennis
Amesbury, Mass.

Cable TV Limits US Open Reach

After reading “ESPN to Air US Open, USOS Starting in 2015: CBS Out" in Industry News in the July issue, I was very disappointed in the USTA. It appears it’s all about the almighty dollar, and not about promoting and developing the growth of tennis in places like Buffalo, N.Y., where as the third poorest city in the nation we have half our children living in impoverished households that do not have access to cable television or the internet.

CBS has carried the US Open since 1968, and I can recall sitting around the TV with my siblings in the 1970s watching the American tennis champions of that decade. That’s when I became interested in tennis. Kids in cities like Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit will not become interested in tennis. They will not watch Serena win a Slam and say I want to do that. They will not tell their parents they want to play tennis. They will not be the tennis champions of tomorrow.

The article quotes USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith as saying, “The new broadcast agreement will deliver tennis to more fans in the formats that today’s consumers demand." What planet is he living on? Families in the ghetto are not technology consumers. They can’t afford to purchase cable television’s premium tier where ESPN is offered or the Internet or sexy electronic devices like iPhones and iPads.

Television rights to the US Open should not be awarded on the basis of high bid alone. The USTA should be considerate of the television viewing needs of all communities throughout our nation as it does in funding tennis programming for underserved neighborhoods, for which I am grateful to receive in the city of Buffalo.

One of the challenges I face in organizing tennis in neighborhoods with high poverty census tracks is recruitment, and that challenge will become more difficult if our kids cannot watch tennis on TV.

Marsha Huard
RiverRock Tennis and Education Association
Buffalo, N.Y



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