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CBS Drops Tennis For NCAA Tournament: Murray-Ferrer Tiebreak Sent To Tennis Channel

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DAVID FERRER
AP

College basketball fans who tuned in to CBS before the NCAA Tournament game between Michigan and Florida on Sunday afternoon were treated to the third set of a championship match between Andy Murray and David Ferrer at the Sony Open. Tennis fans absorbed by the cagey, three-set final, meanwhile, were out of luck when it came to the eventual tiebreak unless they also had Tennis Channel.

As Murray and Ferrer battled -- and broke service -- on the sun-baked hard courts in Miami, the scheduled tip off of the Elite Eight game in the South Region approached. When Murray forced a winner-take-title tiebreak, CBS turned the Sony Open broadcast over to Tennis Channel and switched to its scheduled NCAA Tournament coverage.


CBS Sports PR
For conclusion of Sony Open Men's Final between Anny Murray and David Ferrer tune to Tennis Channel now...Michgan-Florida next onCBS

Tennis Channel
CBS has switched to NCAA basketball and has handed off coverage of the men's final to Tennis Channel with Andy...

Prominent among those perturbed by the choice to cut away from the tiebreak was American tennis star Mardy Fish, who tweeted his displeasure.

At the other end of the spectrum, former NFL player Shaun King seemed irked that CBS' NCAA pre-game coverage had been cut short to stick with the tennis match for so long.


shaun king
Man CBS just gonna break right into the tip, no per-game, match ups to watch, nothing...smh

With opinions on all sides, the situation generated plenty of discussion among sports fans, athletes and media on Twitter.


Don Van Natta Jr.
A men's tennis championship match tiebreak gets knocked off for . Says it all about American sports fans' priorities.

Richard Deitsch
It says more about the billions CBS and Turner paid for the NCAAs.....

Rich Eisen
I love tennis, but a major sport tourney in Europe would take precedence over a Sony Open title match too.

Those who changed channels to Tennis Channel saw Murray quickly win the tiebreak 7-1, wrapping up the title moments before tip off in Arlington. Given how quickly the match wrapped, Fish once again vented at CBS.


Mardy Fish
Your telling me they couldn't have shown that?

Chris Evert
“@MardyFish: Your telling me they couldn't have shown that?”agree... Really CBS???

That CBS squeezed in a handful of commercials between the tennis and the basketball coverage didn't go unnoticed.


Jenna Fryer
I get that left tennis for NCAA. I don't get why they left and put on 4 minutes of commercials.

Raphielle Johnson
The issue here is the need to pay those advertising fees. Seeing nothing but commercials…could have left the tiebreaker on CBS.

richard rosenblatt
Nice work at off air for 3rd set tiebreak in Ferrer-Murray final for tourney; now on 2nd wave of commercials first

With the decision to air the ads over the tiebreak garnering attention, Darren Rovell of ESPN put the cost of the tennis ads relative to those sold for the NCAA Tournament in perspective.


darren rovell
Ads selling for the tennis match before Michigan-Florida were ,000. Commercials airing now cost about 60 times that.

Although CBS let viewers know that the tiebreak could be viewed on Tennis Channel, the decision drew at least a few comparisons to the infamous "Heidi Game" when NBC missed out on an exciting Raiders comeback against the Jets to begin a showing of the film "Heidi."


Howard Bryant
Awww, Ferrer. Stopped point unsuccessfully on championship point, never recovered. Heartbreak for him. Shame on CBS/Tennis Channel.

Hampton Dellinger
Switch from tennis to hoops on cbs feels like modern day "Heidi Game".

Do you think that's a fair comparison? Should CBS have stuck with the Murray-Ferrer tiebreak? Or did CBS make the right call in a tough situation by flipping the tennis match to Tennis Channel and starting the NCAA Tournament coverage?

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