First of all, NBC only wants a certain center cut, so we start this morning watching live tennis on ESPN2, just like we did last week. Then at 9:00, we lose touch with tennis’s biggest event for a full hour. Coverage resumes at 10:00 on NBC, but it is now airing in the Midwest on a one-hour delay. Outcomes can be spoiled if you turn on a radio or glance at the Web at any point during NBC’s three-hour slice.
Meanwhile, ESPN2 is still living in real, Eastern time, so they return for their leftovers when it’s only noon here. This means that, for another full hour, we have to choose between NBC’s delayed tennis or the live stuff on ESPN2. You really can’t watch both at once, and even cutting to ESPN2 during commercials will probably spoil the results of whatever you’re watching on NBC.
If you’re trying to attract tennis fans to your coverage, does it make sense to first have them forget about tennis for an hour, then make them choose between two competing windows?