Attn: Jake Nelson
March 11, 2002
By STAN…THE TENNISMAN– STAFF WRITER
Big News for Tennis Bums, Tennis Junkies,
and Tennis Widows…
Tennis on TV – 24 hours
a day. Tennis on TV seven days a week!!!
OK, lets face it, no matter
how early you leave work to play, or how far you travel to play in a tournament, there is still time left in the day. Now
you can fill that down time by resting your joints and muscles by sitting on the couch – Watching tennis.
Beginning this summer, Steve
Bellamy will launch The Tennis Channel on cable networks across the nation. The programming is still in the planning stages
but there will be commentary, original shows, live tournament action, instruction features, news and personality profiles.
There are already 1,000 hours of tournament rights signed, and more to follow.
One difficult operation is
getting the 1,000 cable outlets across the nation to carry the programming. If this sounds good to you, give them a hand and
call your cable or satellite outlet for encouragement. More information is available at www.thetennischannel.tv.
Time magazine called Steve
Bellamy the “Pied Piper of tennis”. He has the background to pull this cable channel together. Past activities
range from coaching tennis to Arnold Schwarznegger, Goldie Hawn and Sally Field to releasing five albums, performing more
that 1,000 concerts and writing more than 1,500 songs. Steve has produced events for Jimmy Connors, Patrick Rafter, Dustin
Hoffman and John Lithgow.
Other leadership at the channel
is former president of Time-Life Films, Financial News Network, and founder of HBO Enterprises David Meister as CEO. The CFO
is John Brady from Showtime, The Movie Channel and MTV. The legendary advisory board from the tennis world includes Billie
Jean King, Charlie Pasarell, Jim Baugh, John Lloyd, and Pete Sampras.
Current opportunities to
watch tennis on TV are a bit tricky to find. ESPN, ESPN 2, FOX, ABC, and some others do show big tournament play. We end up
seeing some great champions but we rarely see many of the other up and coming contenders. We appreciate what they do at this
time. However, some channels cut away due to time constraints, tape delay important matches, and change the program time completely,
often without notice. Their priorities are out of line with our appreciation of the sport.
Tip of the month:
Record whatever tennis matches on TV you can find. You can play the tape back and analyze the game and the players’
abilities. Watch first for the momentum and game plan that each player brings to the court. Look carefully if one of them
changes his plan and if that shifts the momentum of the match, either in his favor or not. Then watch again in slow motion
or stop action to get every detail of the technical side of the play. One trick to concentrating and learning is to cover
one player with a piece of paper taped to the screen and watch only one player at a time.
For further information contact
Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699. You are invited to please email questions and comments to Coach@StanTheTennisman.com.