SI's Alan Shipnuck pens a long (and I mean long!) feature on
The Golf Channel Golf Channel and how it's really all things wonderful. So touching to see how fatherhood has mellowed Alan to the point he can listen to Jerry Foltz drone on and not want to scream like Howard Beale.
Well, we learn that Nick Faldo and Kelly Tilghman engaged in carefully conceived exercises (they hiked, they surfed!). And we learn that when you combine the ratings of all the telecasts the numbers are actually up, which still doesn't settle the Sportscenter issue that was the heart of those begging for some ESPN involvement. And we learn that a 15-year deal was necessary because, as Tim Finchem asks
inanely rhetorically, "How do we build the platform together?"
I did love this from Dave Manougian, who apparently bamboozled the PGA Tour's army of VP's with this logic:
"I'm not sure if there's much difference between 15 years or 12 or 10," says Manougian. "To increase our distribution, we obviously needed a long-term commitment from the Tour, but quite honestly, once you get past six or eight years you sort of say, Well, we might as well go for it now!"One revealing quote comes from Joe Ogilvie:
"There's no question all of us benefit as the channel grows," says Ogilvie. "There are kickers in the contract to guarantee that. I think players are slowly starting to realize we're married to the channel, so to speak. It's in our best interests to help it succeed."And isn't this precisely the danger?
That the PGA Tour becomes a soft core version of the Big Break, with the separation of media and player turning each telecast into an infomercial?
Or is an infomercial-like brand plugfest just what today's America finds most comforting?
Oh please thoughtful readers, chime in.