US Open men's final switches from CBS to ESPN2
The television broadcast of the U.S. Open men's final switched from CBS to ESPN2 on Monday because of a rain delay.
The match, already postponed from Sunday because of rain, began as scheduled after 4 p.m. EDT on CBS. But once play was suspended just after 6 p.m. and it became clear the delay would last a while, the remainder of the match was moved to ESPN2.
CBS spokeswoman LeslieAnne Wade said ESPN had more flexibility in its schedule.
''Our affiliates have their own schedules,'' she said. ''Once it starts to go outside the traditional sports window, we have less freedom.''
U.S. Tennis Association officials kept in contact with both networks over the last several days to set up contingency plans once the forecast showed rain for Sunday. ESPN2 used the CBS production crew and announcers Dick Enberg and John McEnroe, though fans are also used to seeing both call tennis for ESPN. That meant graphics with the CBS logo, and Enberg wearing his CBS blazer when the ESPN2 broadcast came on the air just before 8 p.m.
Going up against ''Monday Night Football'' on ESPN, ESPN2 had a quiet night planned. From 8-10, the programming included the premiere of a new series following NASCAR star Kyle Busch, ''College Football Live,'' and a one-hour special about the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program
ESPN2 is available in nearly 100 million homes, compared with almost 115 million for CBS.
The match, won by Rafael Nadal over Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, could have moved to a third network. Had it lasted until 10:15, it would have switched to ESPN Classic, available in just 42 million homes, so the second ''Monday Night Football'' game could start on ESPN2. The early game, Ravens-Jets, was delayed because of the same thunderstorms that hit the Open, so it wasn't going to end before the kickoff of Chargers-Chiefs.
But Nadal won just after 10.