If you are a tennis fan living in the US, trying to find tennis on TV can be a painful exercise. This was especially the case for the 2021 US Open final which was only carried by ESPN, a paid cable channel. Streaming was also available on ESPN3 if the internet provider offered that option.
Not showing the finals on free-to-air TV in the US is a disgrace. No one should need a paid cable subscription to watch the most popular tennis event in the US.
Tennis has a tough time competing with other American sports such as the NFL and college football. In recent years, not many Americans have reached the finals, which has reduced TV audience for tennis.
Free to air channels CBS get their revenue from advertisements whereas cable channels like ESPN get bulk of their revenue from subscription fees. In the US, where ESPN2, which carries tennis, has received complaints from viewers that the channel spends too much time showing tennis.
A fix to the problem would be more Americans going deep at the US Open and possibly winning titles. Even then, tennis will find it difficult to compete against NFL.