Roland Garros signed a contract with Amazon last year. The American streaming service pays tens of millions and stipulates that ten games are played late in the evening, when the average American has just returned from work.
In the modern, business-driven world of sports, the match between Nadal and Djokovic is no exception. Tennis player Alexander Zverev complained earlier this month after being on court until 4:54 a.m. in Acapulco, Mexico.
And in other sports too, athletes, spectators, volunteers and other participants have to go to bed at unfavorable hours to serve the viewer. Just think of the Formula 1 races in Asia which end late in the evening, but which have a favorable time slot for European and American viewers. Or football matches that start at increasingly inconvenient times for stadium visitors.
“Trade determines when to play”
“It’s true that it gets crazier and crazier with the age in which the sport takes place,” says Bob van Oosterhout, sports marketing specialist at Triple Double. “There has been tension over this for years between trade on the one hand and sporting interests on the other. Players’ health and fitness always come first, but trade also determines when matches are played.”
In Europe people complain when Nadal and Djokovic are on the track until after midnight, but in the United States the trade has even more power than here. “Look at the NBA: They’re still planning four high-profile games there on Christmas Eve. You’re sitting on the couch with your terrible mother-in-law and that crazy aunt and you’re glad there’s sports on TV.” , says Van Oosterhout.
“The same goes for American football on Thanksgiving. Both are hugely popular, tens of millions of people watch on those days every year.”
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