Fox USGA

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Fox USGA
FOX USGA 2015.jpg
Created by Fox Sports
Starring Joe Buck
Paul Azinger
Brad Faxon
Opening theme "USGA" by Brian Tyler
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 3
Production
Running time 6 hours or until tournament ends
Release
Original network Fox
Fox Sports 1
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original release 2011, 2014, 2015 – present

Fox USGA is the branding for Fox Sports' television broadcasts of the professional (open) and amateur championships of the United States Golf Association.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Early involvement[edit]

Fox Sports partnered with Greg Norman in the early 1990s to create a world golf tour, which would have consisted of six events televised on Fox. However, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem threatened to suspend any player participating in the events, and as a result created the World Golf Championships events, which were televised by CBS and ABC.

Fox Sports bid for a portion of the television rights starting in 1999, but the PGA Tour declined the offer.

Fox Sports Net served as a simulcast outlet for The Golf Channel's early round telecasts from 1999–2002. The Golf Channel had limited carriage, and FSN expanded the viewing audience, however the telecasts were complete Golf Channel telecasts and made no reference to Fox.

Recent involvement and USGA rights[edit]

In 2011, Fox Sports gained the rights to the CVS Caremark Charity Classic, which is an unofficial money event on the PGA Tour, and had been previously televised by Golf Channel. The coverage aired on Fox Sports Net, with Kraig Kann hosting. Fox did not renew its rights for 2012.

On August 6, 2013, Fox Sports announced a 12-year deal[3] to broadcast the three open championships of the USGA: the U.S. Open, Women's Open, and Senior Open,[4] beginning in 2015.[1][5] Fox succeeds the USGA's long-term relationships with NBC Sports and ESPN. Fox, which has televised just one PGA Tour sanctioned event in its history (the unofficial CVS Charity Classic in 2011), paid $1 billion for rights for full rights to all USGA championships.

The Fox network airs the final two days of the U.S. Open, Women's Open, Senior Open, and Amateur, as well as late coverage of the first two days of the U.S. Open. The rest of the coverage airs on Fox Sports 1. Also, the final two days of the U.S. Open air on Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes.[6]

NBC's lead analyst Johnny 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."[7] NBC held the USGA rights for the previous two decades, from 1995[8] through 2014.

Lead-up to Fox's first U.S. Open[edit]

Fox used several telecasts to prepare for airing its first U.S. Open in 2015. These broadcasts familiarized Fox's talent and production staff with broadcasting golf.

First, Fox was given credentials for studio wraparound programming live from the 2014 U.S. Open. This was allowed to compete with ESPN and NBC's studio programming. Newly named Fox golf hosts Joe Buck and Greg Norman hosted the programming.

Fox worked an unofficial PGA Tour event in the fall of 2014 at the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida,[9][10] with Buck and Norman hosting. This was the first time that the full Fox golf team did a telecast together.

The final preparation for the Fox team came in May 2015 at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Buck and Norman again hosted alongside the full Fox golf team.

U.S. Open coverage[edit]

In June 2015, the Fox family covered the U.S. Open for the first time, from Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, southwest of Tacoma. Fox Sports 1 aired preview programming hosted by Holly Sonders on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the championship.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

The 2015 edition of the U.S. Open had a total of 38.5 hours of coverage[18][19][20] in the United States, with 22 hours being on Thursday and Friday, and 16.5 hours being on Saturday and Sunday;[21] the Fox Sports 1 cable network had a total of 16 hours of coverage on Thursday and Friday. The Fox broadcast network had a total of 22.5 hours of coverage Thursday through Sunday, with six hours Thursday and Friday, and 16.5 hours Saturday and Sunday. Fox utilized a number of new technologies during its production, including drone flyovers, a camera-equipped RC car for ground perspectives, and new graphics—including a live shot tracer, an augmented reality display of green contours, and a persistent top-5 leaderboard displayed in the bottom-right of the screen.[22][23]

Fox again covered the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2015. Norman's performance continued to come under criticism, and he was fired afterward. Paul Azinger, out of a job after 11 years working with Mike Tirico at ESPN/ABC, replaced Norman in 2016.[24]

Theme music[edit]

Fox did not carry over "In Celebration of Man", the Yanni-composed music that had been used by NBC for its U.S. Open coverage, choosing to commission film composer Brian Tyler to compose new music (NBC later announced that a new version of the distinctive theme music would be used for its coverage of The Open Championship beginning in 2016) [25][26] Tyler explained that his composition was intended to "capture the epic struggle, the challenge, the history, the heartbreak, and the elation of competitive golf," and acknowledged that "Sports and music have always had an important connection for me. I love the way iconic sports themes evoke the spirit of sporting events and can provide dramatic impact and nostalgic memory."[27]

Commentators[edit]

On April 23, 2014, Fox Sports announced that Greg Norman would join Joe Buck as its lead golf commentary team.[28] Buck and Norman worked together for the first time at the 2014 U.S. Open, where Fox produced studio programming that aired against ESPN and NBC's studio shows.

On November 18, 2014, in advance of its coverage of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, Fox announced the full layout of its golf team.[29]

In January 2016, Greg Norman was let go by Fox in response to poor reception towards his performance during the U.S. Open, and was replaced by former ESPN analyst Paul Azinger.[30] The network's 2016 U.S. Open team:[31]

  • Play-by-play: Joe Buck, Shane O'Donoghue
  • Analysts: Paul Azinger, Mark Brooks, Jay Delsing, Brad Faxon, David Fay, Steve Flesch, Natalie Gulbis, Gil Hanse, Juli Inkster, Buddy Marucci, Scott McCarron
  • On-course reporters: Curtis Strange, Ken Brown

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Baysinger, Tim (August 7, 2013). "Fox Sports Reaches Rights Deal for Golf's U.S. Open". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "2016 USGA on FOX schedule: Dates, times, TV info for every event". Fox Sports. April 13, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ "USGA And Fox Sports Tee Up Landmark Partnership". USGA. August 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Kaufman, Alex (June 30, 2015). "U.S. Senior Open on Fox Improves Upon Last Week's Debut". Awful Announcing. 
  5. ^ Lucia, Joe (August 7, 2013). "Fox awarded rights for golf's US Open". 
  6. ^ http://www.usga.org/articles/2015/02/fox-sports-announces-2015-usga-championship-broadcast-schedule-21474878643.html - 4 February 2015
  7. ^ "Timing of USGA-Fox announcement rankles many". GolfChannel.com. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (June 25, 2016). "FOX-FS1 U.S. OPEN COVERAGE PROVIDES LOWEST FOUR-DAY AVERAGE ON RECORD (SINCE '95)". Awful Announcing. 
  9. ^ Fang, Ken (15 December 2014). "Fox Sports' golf debut was better than expected". Awful Announcing. 
  10. ^ Iaciofano, John (15 December 2014). "Grading Fox Sports' golf debut". GolfWRX. 
  11. ^ Yoder, Matt (June 19, 2015). "First impressions from Fox's US Open golf coverage". Awful Announcing. 
  12. ^ Strege, John (June 18, 2015). "How's Fox doing with U.S. Open? As Tiger might say, it needs more reps". Golf Digest. 
  13. ^ Chase, Chris (June 19, 2015). "Fox's U.S. Open coverage is completely lost in the weeds". For The Win. 
  14. ^ Baker, Geoff (June 18, 2015). "Fox Sports' coverage of first golf major draws some criticism". Seattle Times. 
  15. ^ Imbert, Fred (June 19, 2015). "Fox Sports brings edge to US Open, upsetting traditional fans". CNBC. 
  16. ^ Payne, Marissa (June 18, 2015). "U.S. Open coverage on Fox Sports is not getting rave reviews". The Washington Post. 
  17. ^ Erskine, Chris (June 20, 2015). "U.S. Open coverage on Fox is wild, but not too wild". Los Angeles Times. 
  18. ^ Fang, Ken (June 22, 2015). "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Fox's U.S. Open coverage". Awful Announcing. 
  19. ^ Levy, Dan (June 22, 2015). "There Are 9 Easy Ways Fox Can Fix U.S. Open Golf Coverage for 2016". Awful Announcing. 
  20. ^ Chase, Chris (June 22, 2015). "The 19 worst things about Fox's U.S. Open coverage". For The Win. 
  21. ^ Hagger, Jeff (June 22, 1985). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2015". Classic TV Sports. 
  22. ^ "The ups and huge graphic down to FOX's US Open coverage". New York Post. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "The U.S. Open on television: Ready for drones, rail cams and robotics?". Golf Digest. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  24. ^ Haggar, Jeff (June 19, 2016). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2016". Classic TV Sports. 
  25. ^ "Names In The News". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 29 June 2016. (subscription required)
  26. ^ Fang, Ken (June 14, 2015). "What to expect on Fox's U.S. Open coverage". Awful Announcing. 
  27. ^ "Brian Tyler Composes Theme Music for U.S. Open Championship on FOX". Broadway World. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Emery, Debbie (April 23, 2014). "Joe Buck, Greg Norman to Co-Anchor Fox Sports 2015 Golf Coverage: 'We're Coming Right Out of the Gate'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Fox Sports Golf Team". Golf.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Paul Azinger replaces Greg Norman as lead golf announcer for Fox Sports". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Veteran Announcers Bolster FOX Sports' 2016 USGA Championship Broadcast Team". foxsports.com. April 25, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
NBC
U.S. Open (golf) network television broadcaster
2015
Succeeded by
Incumbent