Why Is the FFT Blocking Roland Garros Videos on YouTube?

I was searching for a video of one of Tommy Robredo’s emotional celebrations after a comeback win, only to realize that not only was there only a very poor quality clip recorded off someone’s TV, but there were also barely any clips from Roland Garros on YouTube in general.

I later learned that the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) has been blocking clips of Roland Garros from being posted to YouTube, which explains the highlight drought. But why?

Why would the FFT think it was in their best interest to block these clips? It can’t be exclusivity, because the FFT is offering hardly any of these clips anywhere on their website or on any YouTube channel. No other slam has instituted this kind of policy, and it’s only hurting the tournament.

Let’s just look at some of the math:

If you search for the 2013 Australian Open and sort the results by number of views, you can see just how many people are viewing these YouTube clips. Several of the clips have more than a million views each, and many have hundreds of thousands of views. Do the same search for the 2013 French Open, and there’s absolutely nothing. So the FFT is taking a pass on allowing millions of people to view clips from their tournament. For what purpose?

Take it one step further. Our site regularly posts video clips from tournaments, and we receive thousands of visitors per day. Yet we’ve posted very few Roland Garros videos, because they’re simply not available. We’ve even decided not to post about certain happenings because there is no video to go along with it. Yes, we can write up a summary of a funny incident, but in this day and age, sports fans have come to expect video.

How many tennis sites, some much bigger and some smaller than ours, are out there having the same dilemma? We can’t cover some of the best shots of the tournament or the biggest stories of the day when everything is blocked. The FFT’s policy is causing their tournament to receive much less coverage on blogs and sports websites.

Looking at the big picture, FFT is turning away millions of fans from engaging with their tournament. Again, for what? They have no interest in posting these clips themselves, so what exactly is the point in making sure that tennis fans can’t watch clips that are just buried in a vault someplace?

Let’s hope that no other tournaments follow suit. This is just dumb, pointless, and harmful to their own tournament and sport.

Amy can be spotted on a tennis court in the Philadelphia area, shanking backhand volleys.

8 Responses

  1. RZ
    RZ June 3, 2013 at 8:38 am |

    Maybe in addition to emailing Roland Garros to complain about NBC’s shoddy coverage, we also need to email them to ask for highlight clips on their web site.

  2. Dan
    Dan June 3, 2013 at 8:41 am |

    Completely Agreed. Its so pointless. Ont he other hand u have AO who have a dedicated youtube channel and free access to old matches. FFT is just stuck in an era 100 years back. Everything about the french open spells relic/ancient/outdated. Their social media sucks. They just haven’t caught up with the times. Sad! the ATP tournaments are so much better in this regard.

  3. Jon
    Jon June 3, 2013 at 9:11 am |

    I find it truly bizarre that Roland Garros doesn’t have it’s own channel,and frustrating considering the Roland Garros site is only marginally better than the app. The other three slams really shame RollyG in this particular respect. As somebody living in the UK, I feel bad for you guys stateside for the shoddy coverage, and they wonder why people turn to illegal streaming! Nuts.

  4. Alex Krstanovic
    Alex Krstanovic June 3, 2013 at 9:21 am |

    YouTube is not the only video website in the World.
    How about the official Roland Garros video channel at http://www.dailymotion.com/rolandgarros

  5. Vibhu batra
    Vibhu batra June 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |

    Great post. I too was thinking to write about this. What’s disgusting is that, even if you post a video taken from your mobile or digi-cam, that too is getting banned.

    Only reason that I can think of is because they want more traffic on their web-site obviously for financial reasons, that’s why, hardly any video is posted even on their dailymotion channel.

  6. Jyannis
    Jyannis June 3, 2013 at 11:42 am |

    Hi Amy/Changeover Staff,

    Try the dailymotion website. I got all my highlights from there, and they are pretty comprehensive ones lasting 10 minutes or more. Non-English commentary, however.

  7. miri
    miri June 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |

    When I first started my site, I would have a small tournament logo up for the current tour event. Said logo linked to the event’s site. The only tournament I ever heard any flack from? Roland Garros. I received a cease and desist letter from them.

  8. Fue buena » Chapeau Rules, día 10

    […] el recomendable blog The Chageover se preguntan por qué la Federación Francesa de tenis ha bloqueado videos a rolete, sin ofrecer nada bueno a cambio como ocurría en el Abierto de Australia. Entendemos el tema […]

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