Golf Channel on NBC

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Golf Channel on NBC
NBC Golf logo.png
Starring List of NBC Golf commentators
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes N/A
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run 1954  – present
External links
Website

Golf Channel on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of golf on the NBC television networks produced by NBC Sports in conjunction with Golf Channel. Its coverage focuses mostly on the PGA Tour (NBC shares broadcast rights for weekend rounds with CBS Sports), but also includes other major events such as the Ryder Cup, and tournaments from other tours that NBC holds rights to.

While originally using generic branding based off the event or tour (such as The PGA Tour on NBC), NBC's parent company was acquired by Comcast in February 2011. As Comcast already owned Golf Channel (who is the PGA Tour's current cable partner), its operations were merged directly into NBC Sports, and golf telecasts on NBC were re-branded as Golf Channel on NBC (in a similar fashion to ESPN's co-branding of sports broadcast by ABC since September 2006).

Coverage overview[edit]

Early years[edit]

The PGA Tour on NBC logo prior to the Golf Channel rebranding.

NBC first got into golf with the U.S. Open from 19541965, however when the USGA decided on a true contract in 1966, NBC left. The network did televise a handful of PGA Tour events over the following decades.

In 1983, the first Skins Game was held. NBC televised the event throughout the U.S. with Vin Scully as the announcer. From 1983-1989, Scully broadcast both golf and Major League Baseball for NBC, usually teaming with Lee Trevino. The only notable affiliate not to televise the first event was KYW-TV in Philadelphia. In 1991, the coverage moved to ABC Sports, after NBC got the rights to Notre Dame football.

After Vin Scully left NBC Sports following their loss of the Major League Baseball package to CBS, Bryant Gumbel, who was still co-hosting Today at the time for NBC took over as NBC's primary golf anchor. In [1991, Gumbel was replaced by Charlie Jones and subsequently, Dan Hicks. The American Century Celebrity Golf Classic was held in 1990[1] and sponsored by NBC, who broadcasts the second and third round coverage. The game NBC Sports Real Golf was unveiled at the 17th annual American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Event and promoted during NBC's broadcast of the event.

NBC generally televised around five regular PGA Tour events per season at this time.

Acquisition of U.S. Open rights (1995)[edit]

In 1995, NBC Sports acquired rights to the USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, from ESPN/ABC. ESPN did retain rights to a portion of the weekday coverage, however NBC was the dominant rights holder, including exclusive weekend coverage. This took NBCs coverage to a new level, and it was the first time in the modern era of television that NBC had televised a major championship. NBC, and its lead analyst Johnny Miller (who jonied NBC in 1990), would become synonymous with the U.S. Open, televising it for the next twenty years.

Expansion of PGA Tour rights (2007)[edit]

In January 2006, the PGA Tour announced a new set of television deals covering 2007 to 2012. NBC Sports would increase its coverage from 5 to 10 events. NBC also broadcasts the Ryder Cup (since 1991[2][3]) and the U.S.G.A. Championships, including the U.S. Open.[4] NBC is the only one to provide four days of major tournament coverage (CBS, which airs the Masters and the PGA Championship, only provides weekend coverage of its tournaments; starting in 2010, the Open Championship would not be aired live on an over-the-air network at all, with all four rounds airing on ESPN and only edited highlights screened by ABC).

NBC carried the weekend coverage of the JELD-WEN Tradition in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Golf Channel covered the early rounds (and all four rounds in 2008 while NBC carried the Olympic Games from Beijing). The World Series of Golf was held May 13–16, 2007, and was televised by NBC June 23–24, 2007. Meanwhile, the second event was played May 12–15, 2008, and was televised by CBS on June 28–29.

In 2007, The Shark Shootout was moved to December, and was broadcast live by both Golf Channel and NBC. The event was originally broadcast in the United States by the USA Network and CBS, with USA broadcasting the first round on a tape-delayed basis, and CBS handling the second round live. Not all the country saw the final round live, as CBS' commitment to the NFL only allowed part of the country to see the round as it takes place, with the rest of the U.S. seeing the event beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

Golf Channel re-branding (2011)[edit]

Golf Channel on NBC logo from 2011–14.

In January 2011, Comcast, owners of Golf Channel, acquired a majority stake in NBC Universal, owners of the NBC network. Comcast's existing sports properties were aligned into the NBC Sports division, meaning that Golf Channel could now share personalities and other personnel with NBC. As a result of this synergy, Golf Channel took over production of all golf telecasts on NBC, which were now co-branded as Golf Channel on NBC, beginning at the 2011 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.[5][5]

While most golf broadcasts on NBC used Golf Channel's imagery as a result of the changes, the Players Championship, Ryder Cup, and USGA tournaments maintain the distinctive theme music that NBC used prior to the re-branding (such as the theme from The Man from Snowy River for the Players, and Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" for the U.S. Open and other USGA events), and their use were also extended to Golf Channel's telecasts as well. As ESPN owned cable rights to the U.S. Open, NBC's coverage was credited as being a presentation of NBC Sports rather than Golf Channel, although Golf Channel-branded graphics were still used.

In both 2013 and 2014, NBC broadcast weekend coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open from Scotland. The 2013 event was played at Castle Stuart near Inverness, while the 2014 event was hosted by Royal Aberdeen, near Aberdeen. The coverage both years was anchored by Rich Lerner, and the action was called by lead European Tour announcer Dougie Donnelly and Golf Channel's lead PGA Tour analyst Frank Nobilo.

Loss of U.S. Open rights (2014)[edit]

In August 2013, it was announced that NBC had lost the USGA contract to Fox Sports, beginning in 2015. Fox, which by the time of their first U.S. Open will have televised just two PGA Tour sanctioned events in its history (the unofficial CVS Caremark Charity Classic in 2011 and the unofficial Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2014), paid $1 billion for rights for full rights to all USGA championships. Miller expressed disappointment at the loss, saying that he "had a feeling" NBC would not retain rights, and that Fox would not be able to "fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open". The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort was the network's twentieth, and final, U.S. Open telecast in the modern era. The final telecast concluded with an emotional goodbye from hosts Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller, followed full credits sequence played over Yanni's "In Celebration of Man", the network's distinctive theme song for the USGA championships. The network then showed a short video montage, which included clips of both great shots and collapses from the years of televising the event. The montage concluded with a reel of every winning putt from NBC's twenty U.S. Opens, with the final shot being of 2014 champion Martin Kaymer.

Relationship with cable partners[edit]

At varying times, NBC has been a sister network to cable outlets which also broadcast the PGA Tour. In 2005 and 2006, recent NBC/Universal acquisition USA Network was scheduled to carry early-round coverage of four out of the five regular PGA Tour events during the Southern Swing in which NBC had the weekend telecasts. At this time, USA had its own golf crew, which worked the events it shared with CBS Sports and ABC Sports. However, due to the joint ownership, NBC used it's regular golf crew (with the exception of Johnny Miller) on USA's weekday telecasts. Regular NBC golf host Dan Hicks led the telecasts, except at the BellSouth Classic, where USA's Bill Macatee filled in, with Hicks still anchoring on NBC over the weekend. The BellSouth arrangement was also used for USA's coverage of that year's Ryder Cup, with Macatee hosting and the rest of the NBC crew handling the telecast.

After the Golf Channel merger in 2011, the same arrangement went into effect, although Miller is present on the cable telecasts this time. Beginning in 2012, the NBC crew works on Golf Channel telecasts of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii and The Players Championship. This time however, the arrangement is not used for any of the Southern Swing events, which feature Golf Channel's regular crew on weekday telecasts. With NBC trading for it's Friday Ryder Cup cable rights back in 2014, the Ryder Cup joined the list of events in which the NBC team appeared on cable.

Various members of the NBC team also appear on telecasts of events that are broadcast solely by Golf Channel, alongside regular members of Golf Channel's crew.

Tournaments[edit]

Current[edit]

PGA Tour
PGA Tour - Alternated with CBS on special occasions
European Tour
Majors and special events

Former[edit]

Commentators[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1990 NBC golf credits) on YouTube
  2. ^ Sherman, Ed (27 September 2012). "How the Ryder Cup went from nothing to coveted TV property for NBC". Sherman Report. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chronology of Ryder Cup coverage on American television". Classic Sports TV and Media. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "History of US Open golf TV coverage (1954-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, Mike. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out At Versus In NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 

External links[edit]