Tennis Coverage in Australia – Can We Do Better?

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I will start with a disclaimer – I love tennis.

I love it enough to be invested in the sport daily, and not just for a for the four main fortnights of the year.

I will give my own thoughts about how things are currently being handled in a follow-up article shortly,  and would rather focus this article on the findings of the survey.

Here are the results to the questions posed:

Question 1: Please choose the option below that best describes your thoughts on how tennis is covered in the media in Australia.Please choose the option below that best describes your thoughts on how tennis is covered in the media in Australia.

Very Satisfied: 2.78%
Satisfied: 6.94%
OK: 25.00%
Dissatisfied: 47.22%
Very Dissatisfied: 18.06%

That comes to 90.28% of respondents finding the coverage between OK and Dissatisfied.

Question 2: What are your favourite parts of how tennis is currently being covered in the media? If a certain person/program, please include in your answer.

Responses included:

Brett Phillips and “The First Serve” on SEN (common answer).
The old 7Tennis App.
Leo Schlink, Courtney Walsh, Linda Pearce, Wally Masur.
Todd Woodbridge.
Betting Agencies having coverage of most courts at majors.
McEnroe, Masur and Courier on Australian Open Coverage. “Courier is the benchmark”.
“Justified praise for Ash Barty, even if it does get a bit repetitive”.
Roland Garros on free-to-air SBS.
BEin Sports coverage of WTA.
Foxtel/Kayo streaming of some key matches.
Coverage of majors only.
When they bring specialists in – Cahill, Stubbs etc.
Betting Previews
Multi-Channel Aus Open Coverage

Question 3: What do you see to be the biggest areas for improvement regarding tennis coverage in Australia?

Responses included:

More coverage.
More positive talk.
Better coverage with no missing of points.
Cover all courts.
Volume and quality of discourse.
“For the free to air coverage, they need anchors who actually understand and love tennis, not just some news / general sports person that speaks like a joe average / newspaper headline”.
More full time staff on the tennis platform.
More consistent coverage through digital and print media.
More of a focus on up-and-coming players.
Provide better coverage between majors.
More tennis of FTA.
“Stop the bashing of particular players”.
Large amount of media focusing on negatives (ie Kyrgios code violation) or a negative aspect of a positive (ie. why can’t player X be more like Barty).

Question 4: If you could change ONE thing about the coverage of the sport in Australia, what would it be?

Responses included:

More coverage of lower-ranked players.
Court coverage.
Allow viewers to have a greater understanding, and not show one snippet out of context from a press conference to paint a player in a negative light.
Have a ticker on the side of the screen with live score updates and/or split screen coverage.
More tennis on television (common answer).
Stop with just the sensationalism.
Greater promotion – we have the #1 womens player in the world!
Cover more tournaments.
More analytics and less narratives.
Less generic channel 7/9 hosts and more genuine tennis experts.
A more balanced overall view. 
Better treatment of Australian players.
Less focus on negativity.
“Bring back Newk”
Stop missing entire points and games.
“Get commentators who pay attention to tennis longer than a month in January and the three majors”.


I have had to do a fair bit of censoring of some of those comments, as I did receive a number of very…passionate…responses, and I thank everyone for taking part in the survey.

Has anything been missed? What are your thoughts on the current state of tennis coverage in Australia? Join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @Ace_Previews.