Channel 7 has defended its decision to stick with reruns of the prominent 1970s war comedy-drama TV show M*A*S*H rather than show the start of world number one Ash Barty’s Wimbledon opener.

As has been the case for the last 40 years, the program has been heavily rotated across every commercial TV network for some reason, and last night was no exception, as the controversial right-wing network opted to show some weird episode from the third season rather than switch over to watch Australia’s favourite athlete dominate the cannon fodder from China.

Currently world number one, The French Open champion needed just over an hour to do away with the 25-year-old Zheng Saisai with a 6-4, 6-2 on Court One.

A furious reaction from fans and sports commentators on social media prompted an explanation and apology from Channel 7 on the Sunrise program, who stuck by their decision to miss Barty’s opening sets because the M*A*S*H episode in question was getting to a really good bit of the series.

“We believe we made the right decision” said Channel 7 owner Kerry Stokes.

“We here at Channel 7 are of the opinion that war, and the storytelling of those involved in war, is something that Australians need more of”

Stokes believes that the fact that M*A*S*H is based around the Korea War, which is commonly referred to as ‘the forgotten war’ is all the more reason to prioritise it into prime time viewing. Especially over the tennis successes of ‘some tennis player from Ipswich’.

“It doesn’t matter how many times we hear these stories, or watch this arguably B-Grade sitcom, it is important to always keep this at the forefront of our minds” says Stokes, who is well known for his collection of Victoria Cross medal sets.

“Same goes for Kyrgios. He’s not going away anytime soon if I have anything to do with it. He’s the Korea War of Australian tennis”


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