WABI failed to adequately notify fans of U.S. Open decision

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 15, 2011, at 2 p.m.

I understand WABI-TV’s decision not to broadcast the first 2½ hours of Monday’s weather-delayed U.S. Open men’s tennis final was based on business considerations — more people watch the local news than U.S. Open tennis and there’s more advertising money to be made with local news than U.S. Open tennis.

And while there were efforts made to move the match to the station’s CW network, that apparently wasn’t possible due to contractual reasons involving the network’s “premier week.” I do find it funny, however, that such contractual language transcends prime time and includes the station’s late afternoon weekday programming, which isn’t first-run CW shows but includes repeats of “That 70s Show,” “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “Seinfeld.”

I suppose it’s too bad the station apparently doesn’t have the technology to run the tennis match on the CW from its 4 p.m. start until the end of the local news on WABI at 6:30, then switch the tennis to WABI because CBS already had decided to pre-empt its national news for the Djokovic-Nadal match.

ESPN routinely uses that practice to deal with overlapping events on its channels.

My complaint with WABI is the lack of notification it provided over its airwaves to tennis fans, fans who had followed the tournament on that station for the previous two weekends.

My understanding is there was a notice on the station’s website, as well as an effort to notify various TV listing outlets once it made its decision not to air the tennis on WABI and once it couldn’t negotiate an arrangement to switch the broadcast to the CW.

There were plenty of opportunities to run an informational crawl during Sunday’s women’s final alerting viewers of Monday’s plan, and even the opportunity for the channel to direct those fans to www.usopen.org, where matches were being streamed live over the Internet, for the men’s final.

They could have provided that direction through a link from the station’s own website.

But I saw no such crawl, no such information over the airwaves, either during Sunday’s women’s match or at the start of the season premiere of “Ellen” that began on WABI when the start of the men’s match was supposed to air Monday.

I was left to think — or hope — the tennis was being delayed by rain.

No such luck, as I soon found out from ESPN — on its crawl at the bottom of the screen. …

WINDHAM STAR ALLEN SIDELINED

Word out of southern Maine is that Windham High School basketball star Nolan Allen may be sidelined for his senior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the Eagles’ Week 2 football game against Deering of Portland.

Allen, a 6-foot-4 forward, led the Southwestern Maine Activities Association (Western Class A) in scoring with 24.8 points per game last winter, and was selected to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine second team.

With first-team All-Maine choice Chris Braley of Nokomis of Newport now attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, just two underclassmen from last year’s BDN All-Maine teams are set to be back in the high school ranks this winter, senior forward Louis DiStasio of Cheverus of Portland and junior swingman Garret Beal of Jonesport-Beals. Both were third-team honorees after last season.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/15/sports/wabi-failed-to-adequately-notify-fans-of-u-s-open-decision/ printed on August 21, 2014