Dear ESPN Network (and particularly ESPN2),
First of all, thank you so much for broadcasting about 8 million hours of Australian Open television. Seriously, if nothing else, you pretty much cover all the matches that I want to see and I like your coverage in general. Darren Cahill and Mary Carillo are funny as all shit and I can even put up with Patrick McEnroe’s “Hellos!” and “th’Dropper!” comments on net balls that tweak over. Brad Gilbert? Well, generally I just want to mute him altogether, but I’ll take him too. So, Kudos.
There is one complaint that I would like to lodge however. You might think that it is a minor one, but it drives me positively nuts, so I thought I would bring it up. You see, I pretty much only watch your channel during tennis (mostly because you don’t carry hockey games), so perhaps this has been going on forever and I never noticed. It’s the ticker on the bottom of the screen. It used to be, that we only had to endure the score updates and random other facts that you scroll along twice an hour or something (I recall at :23 and :53 maybe?), but now the ticker is ever-present, reminding me of games that I don’t really care about, and more importantly, really irrelevant news. You seem to even have a section purely entitled “Tiger” which tells me Tiger Woods’s is no longer sponsored by so-and-so and perhaps may even tell me that he’s had an affair with a giraffe for all I care. The ticker is really really *really* distracting during tennis, particularly if the player on the bottom half of the picture is on a string and being jerked around. The ticker just plain makes me dizzy in cases like that. I’ve contemplated the low-tech option of duct-taping some cardboard across the bottom of my TV (and don’t tell me that I can mess with the aspect ratio on the screen to get it off the TV because that doesn’t really work either because the rest of the picture gets messed up).
So, if you could find it in your hearts to go back to the twice hourly updates instead of making my tennis-viewing feel like a stock market update (you are not Bloomberg News!), I would appreciate it.