I cover television here because it has such a powerful role in shaping perceptions of our most historic championships.
The Masters exemplifies this best and I have little doubt that ESPN's strong Open Championship reviews impacted the sense viewers had a satisfying experience while the U.S. Open and PGA telecasts were impression-damaging in different ways.
But I'd argue that as weak as Fox's U.S. Open debut was, the network at least showed golf uninterrupted for the last ninety minutes of the U.S. Open and left the viewer feeling like the entire affair was about the championship.
The PGA, on the other hand, negotiated no noticeable governor on commercial and promotion time when extending with CBS for 9 years in 2011. This lack of any effort to treat the event different than other majors annually harms the reputation of the championship and reinforces its status as the fourth of four.
Couple the disjointed telecast structure with the last two years of will.i.am screaching "sitting in the Hall of Fame" and the reactions are like this one from a reader:
Thanks for commenting on the commercial breaks for the PGA championship. It is just about unwatchable. We are all die hard golf fans, like you, but how many times do we have to watch the same commercial over and over again. Hit three shots, another commercial package. I'm a 57 year old professional, which is the demographic they are looking for, but they're losing me. The PGA and CBS are a sell out.
Luke Kerr-Dineen has this roundup of Saturday Tweets confirming the vitriol toward the broadcast's emphasis on commercials over golf.
Therefore I'm curious who, after watching this disjointed mess, you hold most accountable.