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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 09/10/2012

CBS cuts Serena Williams’ U.S. Open victory speech short


Serena Williams jumps for joy after her 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win in Sunday’s final. (Mike Groll - AP)
Serena Williams capped her stellar summer with a come-from-behind three-set win over top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in Sunday’s women’s final at the U.S. Open.

The victory gave Williams her 15th Grand Slam title but apparently it didn’t warrant the traditional extended interview on CBS, which is broadcasting the tournament.

An afternoon rain delay bumped the match back and ran into the 7 p.m. ET hour occupied by “60 Minutes” — so CBS cut Serena’s post-match celebration short.

As USA Today reported:

The network aired a brief interview between Serena and Mary Carillo, then showed Serena receiving her trophy and $1.9 million winner's check. Serena wasn't interested in the money, nor in the congratulatory words delivered by the check's presenter.
"Do I get to say anything else?," Serena asked Carillo while she was handed the check.
"One second," Carillo said.
Serena was whisked away for a photo with Azarenka and CBS cut to commercial. When the coverage returned, it was only for a quick wrap-up and brief plug for Monday's men's final. Coverage ended without Serena getting to say what she wanted.

As USA Today points out, the shortened presentation was followed by eight minutes of commercials, so letting Williams revel in her victory for an extra minute or two would not have prevented the channel from airing “60 Minutes” in its entirety. (CBS aired the show shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.)

More importantly, this is the top American in the game who just won America’s major to complete a sweep of Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open. Whether she was about to bust out the crip walk or simply issue a few more thank-you’s, she deserved better from CBS.

But while Carillo and company limited Serena’s on-court party, she still celebrated into the early morning, as Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal tweeted.

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By  |  12:34 PM ET, 09/10/2012

 
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