It’s not easy being a tennis fan in the U.S. Unless it’s a Grand Slam, you’ll be hard pressed to watch the action from the comfort of your living room. Even then, you’ll need the scheduling skills of a Tiger Mom to coordinate all of the different networks covering the event.
Luckily for the rest of us, there’s this thing called the Internet. Here are six ways to make sure you never miss a moment of the action from Roland Garros.
If you really don’t feel like turning on your TV, you can go online to watch a live simulcast of NBC’s coverage, including the men’s and women’s finals, and live streaming coverage of the men’s semifinals. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights and online-only analysis from NBC’s tennis commentators. Check it out at NBCSports.com.
The ATP’s official site always does a good job of posting highlights from the day. While you’re not going to get to see a full match with this free service, it’s a quick and dirty way to keep abreast of all of the day’s action. You can check out the highlights in the ATP’s video section of their site: ATPWorldTour.com
Also from the ATP is their fee-based live steaming service. It basically hooks into the live feed from the event, which gives you access to all courts where there’s a live feed. You can catch almost all of the matches — ATP and WTA — and listen to the insightful international commentary and receive access to Hawk-Eye analysis. It costs $129.95 for the year for 50 ATP tournaments and 43 WTA events or pay $19.95 a month and watch as much as you want during that timeframe. Sign up here: TennisTV.com
ESPN won’t cover the French full time until 2015. In the meantime, you’ll have to share coverage with NBC. If you’re already subscribed to a cable TV package you can log in to their online streaming service and follow the action there. It’s live streaming via the Internet, but if you have a Wii, Xbox or NTSC cable you can stream these through your HD tv. Create your account here: WatchESPN.com
And then there’s the alternative for the rest of us. Desperate times lead to desperate measures. And when the major networks eschew tennis in favor of World Series of Poker or lawn bowling, what’s a tennis fan to do? This is where FromSport comes in. It basically taps into the live feeds from international websites from the UK, Middle East and Asia. Streaming quality and connectivity can be sketchy, but what do you want for free viewing. There are usually several feeds to choose from but you might have to reconnect often when a feed is blocked. Check it out here: FromSport.com
And, finally, for those of you really low-fi technofiles, tune in to Radio Roland Garros on the official French Open website, open the IBM slam tracker and create a visual image in your mind. This also frees up your focus to catch up on all of the cute kitten videos you’ve been missing from across the web. Like this one: