WJLA Drops Ball, Briefly

According to a viewer, WJLA TV Washington cut away from the end of the Citi Open tennis tournament championship match at 5 p.m. Sunday to go to regularly scheduled paid programming.

WJLA GM Dan Mellon confirmed the cutaway, but said it had been a mistake and that the station returned to the tournament for the final couple of games, staying with it until about seven minutes past the hour.

Not exactly the famous "Heidi game," when NBC famously cut to a movie rather than show the end of an exciting football game, but WJLA had struck an agreement with Tennis Channel, which has the rights to the coverage, to air its coverage of the men's final of the tournament, which is held in Washington, which Tennis was looking to as a way to promote the channel and provide free home-town access for the final.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.