Brad Gilbert compares tennis to golf

Gilbert believes tennis should be more mainstream

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Before he was Coco Gauff's coach, Brad Gilbert spent years in professional tennis. He has played, coached, and commentated on the sport on television. He knows the sport inside out.

Gilbert recently took to social media to share his thoughts on how tennis compares to golf. The issue he honed in on was the amount of national television coverage there is on golf each weekend. He also spoke at length to CNBC's "Squawk Box."

He believes tennis needs to take this next step and be available on national broadcast networks each weekend. Like golf, tennis has weekly tournaments in different locations. Unlike golf, the majority of tennis coverage is available on pay television networks such as Tennis Channel and ESPN.

Golf is everywhere, but tennis is not

Practically every national broadcast network carries golf coverage during the course of the season which is about as long as tennis's 11 month calendar. NBC, CBS, and FOX show tournaments each weekend. This includes both PGA and LIV Golf.

NBC and CBS used to show Wimbledon and US Open action exclusively. Currently, ESPN has exclusive rights to live coverage of three Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) while the Tennis Channel and NBC divide the live coverage of the French Open with Tennis Channel and its offshoots Tennis Channel Plus and T2 getting the lion's share of the coverage. Without regular national broadcast exposure, it is hard for casual fans to get to know the players and see them playing different opponents.

Gilbert's observation comes at an interesting time, shortly after the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a partnership with the ATP with other rumored deals on the table between PIF and the ATP and WTA Tours. Whether tennis evolves into a business model like the PGA/LIV in the years to come remains to be seen.

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