Gah. The YouTube/Viacom saga affects the tennis world, too. Here’s a story about Erich, who got his YouTube account cancelled after both the USTA (post-U.S. Open) and Tennis Australia lodged complaints about the videos. He’d started posting clips on YouTube last year:
Most of his clips, he says, even from smaller tournaments, would make it into the day’s top 20 most-viewed sports list. High-profile matches, such as those from the major events or those contested by star players such as Roger Federer (http://www.rogerfederer.com), Andy Roddick, or Rafael Nadal (http://www.vamosrafael.com) would often reach the top ten and remain there for a week. His highlights of the retirement at last year’s US Open of American great Andre Agassi not only reached number one in sports but the top ten most viewed videos across every category on YouTube.
Wendy Grossman (the story’s author) hit the nail on the head: instead of shutting this guy up, all the tennis orgs should be encouraging the viral spread of tennis clips. I don’t think it hurts their brand at all. The tours don’t compete with each other. They’re all just trying to milk the same players for all they’ve got. And especially if interest in tennis is waning in the U.S., why get rid of the videos that could pique someone’s interest?
At the same time, we should give credit for the ATP, the Sony Ericsson WTA, and the tournament websites, all for getting into blogs, vid clips, etc. But really, I think the USTA and Tennis Australia should reconsider their actions. At the very least, they can lick their wounds (but not for too long) and figure out how to use YouTube to their advantage.