Dick Ebersol may be gone at NBC, but his impeccable sense of timing in international sports coverage remains: The broadcasting particulars of the 2011 men's semifinals at Roland Garros, on TV and online, have just been settled, less than 24 hours before match time:
NBC will add live Internet streaming to its broadcast of the men’s French Open semifinals this Friday for the first time, according to a network spokesman.
The rest of that sentence, left politely unsaid: "Because they'll pretty much have to, because NBC refuses to move one single Friday edition of the Today Show to accommodate the tennis match of the year and the highest-profile event of the French Open 2011, which they bought broadcast rights for and are now treating competitive eating, or darts."
The rundown: Semifinals play will begin Friday at 8 a.m. EDT, with the Nadal-Murray match. That match is being shown on the Tennis Channel. NBC's broadcast doesn't start until 11 a.m. It's highly unlikely, of course, that this one will run long, but if Murray makes a game of it the network will take over broadcasting then. Federer and Djokovic aren't likely to complete play before the allotted television window closes at 2 p.m., but their match will be streamed live on NBCSports.com.
All makes perfect sense, right? Stay tuned to SB Nation Tennis Friday morning, where we'll make sure to keep viewers apprised of what matches are appearing where and when. We'll all get through this together.