I am quite used to following tennis via the computer at tournaments all over the planet. I’ve learned to figure out the time differences, find ways around the fact that some websites aren’t friendly to Macs, locate varied ways to find live scoring, video, radio.
The tennis part of the Beijing website was unfathomable. Many times, the matches I was looking for (men’s singles, third round, Roger Federer) were not listed as occurring at all. And then suddenly they’d be listed as already completed. Finding the score then was easy – but that wasn’t when I wanted it. My other usual sites – Sports Illustrated, New York Times, ATP – the men’s all-inclusive site – were better in that I could find what I was looking for – but not in a timely fashion. In fact, often half a day late.
So there I was – at 4 or 5 or 6 in the morning – knowing Roger and others were playing – and having no info, in this world and web full of facts, feelings, information of all kinds. But not what I wanted.
And don’t even try to tell me to follow it on NBC. They didn’t bother, and their website lagged behind.
I know, I know – I could get cable, and then the tennis channel. That would work with normal tournaments – but it didn’t work for a friend of mine who spent most of the Olympic tennis week in a search, with an occasional few minutes of that familiar thwock.
It’s a good thing it only happens once every four years. And hopefully the BBC will do it better next time.