Men’s Wimbledon Final Likely to See Huge Drop in Viewers
There are few more prestigious sporting events than a Wimbledon final and, wherever you are around the world, you diarise this event long in advance and make sure nothing gets in the way of your viewing pleasure. The 2018 men’s final at the All England Club will have a massive battle on its hands to stay relevant this year though as the soccer World Cup Final is scheduled to start only two hours after the men’s final gets underway.
For the Wimbledon organizers, this is undoubtedly a frustrating problem to have to deal with and, despite having an open dialogue with FIFA, no agreement was reached and the overlap will affect those who love both tennis and soccer. Even if tennis is your preferred sport, it is hard to ignore a World Cup final as it only comes along once every four years.Embed from Getty Images
Most sports lovers would appreciate the opportunity to enjoy both without any fear of them overlapping and, at the end of the day, the Wimbledon chiefs could have done more to avoid this impending catastrophe despite referring to FIFA’s scheduling as “surprising“.
All England Club commercial and media director Mike Desmond said they were made aware of FIFA’s decision to broadcast the final on the 15th of July 2018, 18 months ago. Desmond was bullish about the decision to keep the final at 14:00 GMT and said “our tournament always starts at two o’clock and we’ll start at two o’clock”. It’s easy to see how this avoidable problem has come about with attitudes that are as uncompromising as that.
Wimbledon goes ahead still and, in its first week, it is serving up some exhilarating action already. Caroline Wozniacki was beaten by Russian Ekaterina Makarova in a match that saw a swarm of flying ants invade the court. Wozniacki protested but it wasn’t enough for the game to be stopped and, in the end, the Dane couldn’t avoid yet another shock defeat.
Serena Williams stormed into the third round with an emphatic win over Viktoriya Tomova. The American is looking every bit as good as she was before taking time off to give birth to her daughter last September and this could well be her first Grand Slam win since then. Punters who back Williams to get back to her best and win Wimbledon can claim a free Paddy Power bet from Oddschecker. Williams is backed at odds of +350 to win her eighth Wimbledon title and, right now, she looks on course to do it.
Should Serena Williams make it to the women’s final, there won’t be any controversy about another sporting event stealing the limelight. Sadly, for the men, they will be battling the biggest sporting event in the history of sport and will have to make it a speedy affair if they want to keep the majority of their audience given that the average length of the men’s final is two hours and 45 minutes. At the moment, the Wimbledon chiefs seem steadfast in their decision not to be more adaptable but, in all likelihood, they will look back at their actions and probably come to the conclusion that they scored an own goal.