NBC Sports to Offer 50 Hours of Live British Open Coverage

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Scott Rushing
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NBC Sports to Offer 50 Hours of Live British Open Coverage

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Take the longest day in major championship golf and a network devoted exclusively to golf and the result is unprecedented coverage. NBC Sports and Golf Channel will combine to provide a record 49.5 hours of live coverage over four days from the British Open at Royal Troon.

"You go first tee shot all the way through to the raising of the claret jug," said Mike McCarley, president of Golf for NBC Sports Group. "It will be either on Golf Channel or NBC the whole way through."

NBC and Golf Channel picked up the British Open a year early from ESPN, and it gives the network a major after the USGA signed on with Fox. The Open will have 12 hours more than ESPN scheduled for last year.

The Masters prefers limited live television and provided 18.5 hours this year on ESPN and CBS. Fox said it will have 36.5 hours on FS1 and Fox. The PGA Championship is shown on TNT and CBS with 28 hours from Baltusrol the last week in July.

The Open Championship, with the advantage of extended summer daylight in Britain, typically starts about 6:30 a.m. and the last group went off at 4:13 p.m. at St. Andrews last year. Golf Channel and NBC, both owned by Comcast, provide a seamless transition in its weekend coverage of the PGA Tour, and this will be no different.

"We looked at a lot of different schedules and measurements. We get very scientific with how ratings work," McCarley said. "But ultimately, we came back to the fact this is a major championship, everyone qualified to be there and they all deserve to be on the air. That's been a philosophy of (NBC golf producer) Tommy Roy for a long time. We have the resources. We have the personnel. And we think it's the right thing to do for the fans."

McCarley said Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo and Frank Nobilo will rotate as the lead analyst in the 18th tower. Dan Hicks and Terry Gannon will handle the lead announcing role. The 10 analysts on the ground and other towers include the usual NBC crew (Roger Maltbie, David Feherty, Gary Koch, Peter Jacobsen, Notah Begay, Mark Rolfing) and some who mostly do Golf Channel telecasts (such as Curt Byrum and Jerry Foltz).

Golf Channel will have its studio live from Royal Troon, which will include David Duval when he gets done playing. Duval won the Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2001; Faldo is a three-time champion; and Miller won in 1976 at Royal Birkdale.

"We have a deep bench," McCarley said. "It's one of the benefits of having a 24-hour golf network, and we're also fortunate enough to have three people who have an Open Championship working for us."

The times on the East Coast will be 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekdays, and 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekend (2:30 p.m. on Saturday).

Still to be determined is what it will do with its "Morning Drive" show. McCarley said Golf Channel was working on something "creative" to do with it.

DON
That sure is a lot of Golf on

That sure is a lot of Golf on TV in one week. One thing I can tell you right now, is that I am NOT going to be of the people watching golf at 1:30 in the morning. I have better things to be doing at that time of day. like SLEEPING.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

cac
cac's picture
Great to see that you lot in

Great to see that you lot in North America get good coverage of The Open. I do think its special in the sense that all golfers tee off on the 1st tee. As a links the tide, wind and weather always plays its part. We in the UK have just lost our free coverage frothe BBC but is now on SKY but with adverts. Its not so long ago that  there was no tv coverage on the front 9 at the Masters. So lots of progression in a good way. you dont have to watch 16 straight hrs of golf but always great to be able to drop in for an hour or 2. CAC.

cac handed Geordie.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I really like the Open

I really like the Open coverage...the idea of waking up to golf each day...sweet!

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
I have  NO idea what the TV

I have  NO idea what the TV coverage will be for me here in Denver and NO Golf Channel to watch. I'll have to make due with the local broadcast coverage I guess. I'm sure thaer will be more than enough coverage to keep my happy on the weekend.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Well THE Open starts this

Well THE Open starts this week folks.   SHould be waking up to golf later this week.  I can't wait.

Anyone have predictions on who might be a top the leaderboard?

 

Did you guys see the 200 yard "putt" contest that as done at the Scottish Open?  25 players 'teed' off on a 200 yards Par 3 using only a putter...closest to the pin won.  That was funny.  Winner was 9ft away..Russell KNox

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/200-yard-putt/
 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
That was fun to watch

Kind of a fun thing to  watch the tour pros playing at. Some  really nice tee shots and some really Bad one to go with  the good ones. I wonder if they got to win anything for their time?  It's surprising how far you can hit a golf ball with a putter.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

scomac
scomac's picture
 It's surprising how far you

 It's surprising how far you can hit a golf ball with a putter.

I once saw a video of long drive champion, Jamie Sadlowski, hit a putter 315 yards off a tee.  Never had any desire to try that myself. 

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I was surprised the guys were

I was surprised the guys were using THEIR putters...seems like you could possibly damage the soft milled faces of some of those new putters..

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

scomac
scomac's picture
I was surprised the guys were

I was surprised the guys were using THEIR putters...seems like you could possibly damage the soft milled faces of some of those new putters..

I don't think that i could swing a putter hard enough to damage its milled face!  With those dudes that's another story though! 

DON
I think I'd be using a Back

I think I'd be using a Back UP putter for that hole. No sense in risking it with my favorite putter, the one I'm used to.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
So what a round Phil had

So what a round Phil had Thursday.  Wow, 63.  And backed it up today with another solid round to get to -10.  But also impressive is Zach Johnson...his is just solid..finds fairway, hits short irons good.  his misses are just not that bad usually.  So should be a fun weekend.

 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
I turned on the OPEN Sunday

I turned on the OPEN Sunday and saw that Midleson and Stenson where in a duel for the lead and WAY ahead of everyone else. I was NOT intending to watch all that much of the coverage, but I ended up watching most of the Sunday final. Hard not to watch when it was neck and neck the entire round, with multiple lead changes and being tied as well for a long time. HARD to believe how well Stenson was putting all day. He is NOT known for good putting so it was amazing how well he putted all week, especially on Sunday to pull ahead for good. Kind of felt a bit sorry for Phil after he shoots the BEST final round in a Major of his life, a 65, and it's not enough to win. losing by 3 at the end. Mostly due to Stenson putting so well to go with his normally excellent ball striking with all of his clubs.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Yeah it was the best head to

Yeah it was the best head to head match I've ever seen.  Both played incredible.  Sad to see someone lose.  And the 3rd place person was 14 shots back!!!!

 

Was a lot of fun to watch..
 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

GolfGearReview.com Administrator

DON
I have to think that one of

I have to think that one of the reasons this was so good of a head to head match was that the two of them were WAY ahead of everyone else, so they could take more of a risk if need be and NOT worry about falling into third or worse if they didn't pull off the hard shot. They were both free to take chances most of the last round.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

cac
cac's picture
Best finish to a Major in my

Best finish to a Major in my memory. Dont remember duel in the sun 1977 I think.  CAC

 

cac handed Geordie.