ESPN Shift for Australian Open Coverage Challenging Fans


Tennis fans who stay up all night to watch the Australian Open have to change their viewing habits and have a hard time finding some of the matches they want to watch.

ESPN dramatically reduced ESPN2 coverage during the first week of the first Grand Slam event of the year, leaving only ESPN + streaming services at night.

ESPN + is available live for all matches, but has technical issues in the first few days. Fans were particularly upset and said on social media that Wednesday’s second round match between American Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe couldn’t be seen on any platform. There was a graphic that it was on ESPN +, but it wasn’t.

ESPN’s Communications Director, Dave Nagle, said a “combination of factors” made certain matches unavailable on ESPN + on Wednesday night.

“Fritz vs. Tiafo should have been fully live covered on one of our platforms. We are working on this issue and will make all matches live available in the future. “Neagle says. “The combination of our network, including ESPN + and ESPN3, enhances our ability to comprehensively cover tennis majors and provide more tennis to our fans.”

ESPN2 has coverage throughout the Sunday round of 16 games from 9 pm EST to 12:30 am EST, providing a longer coverage window starting in the quarterfinals. For the past few years, ESPN2 has had up to 10 hours of daily coverage during the first week of Eastern Standard Time from 9 pm to 7 am.

ESPN + can take action from almost any court and will be ready to play once the match is complete. However, ESPN + is also a premium streaming service. This means that fans will have to pay more in addition to what they already spend on cables.

Sports Illustrated Editor-in-Chief and Tennis Channel Commentator Jon Wertheim captured the mood among many. When he tweeted Wednesday night: If you’re writing a handbook “How to Kill Sports” …. There are many other entertainment options to play hide-and-seek like this. With the state side of @AustralianOpen several times over the last 20 years, we have a new appreciation for the frustration of our fans. “

During the second week of the tournament, ESPN + will play at least two quarterfinals exclusively on January 24th and 25th.

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