If you’re a pickleball junkie like we are, you tuned in with great excitement to The Tennis Channel to watch the PPA Orlando Cup Championship Sunday. Anna Leigh Waters, the 14-year-old phenom, won gold in singles and women’s doubles with her mom, Leigh. Ben Johns and Tyson McGuffin followed. The Tennis Channel’s coverage was going smoothly and then…BAM. In the middle of play, as McGuffin had lost the first game and was raring for a comeback in the second, The Tennis Channel abruptly switched back to tennis programming, booting the Orlando Cup coverage to “Tennis Channel Plus.”
“Plus” means, well, minus for most viewers, who are out of luck if they want to finish the men’s singles match or watch the pro mixed doubles final–which promised to be a precedent-setter featuring Riley Newman and Catherine Parenteau vs. Jessie Irvine and Jay DeVilliers.
Let’s face it: If the goal was to increase viewership, the highly-touted partnership between PPA and the Tennis Channel turned out to be a dud. Guess we’ll have to wait several days for the matches to be posted on YouTube or Facebook, if we’re lucky.
“Growing the sport” never seemed so non-inclusive. Sigh.
Update: Looks like you can now watch the mixed doubles livestream on the PPA Tour Facebook channel here.