140 hours of The Open...night owls rejoice!
For Immediate Release:
NBC SPORTS TO DELIVER MOST LIVE COVERAGE EVER FOR A MAJOR AT THE 145TH OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, JULY 14-17
From First Tee Shot to Final Putt, NBC Sports’ Live Coverage Includes Golf Channel’s First-Ever Telecast of a Men’s Major Championship and Return of The Open to Broadcast Television on NBC
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 17, 2016) – With the most live hours of tournament coverage ever dedicated to one of golf’s major championships, The R&A and NBC Sports Group’s long-term media partnership kicks off its inaugural year with a record number of planned programming hours. The 145TH Open will return to U.S. live broadcast coverage through Golf Channel and NBC’s nearly 140 hours of television coverage from Royal Troon Golf Club throughout the week. It also will represent Golf Channel’s first coverage of a men’s major championship.
“The unprecedented coverage of The Open will provide a unique showcase of the world’s best golfers on an iconic links course, navigating the often dramatic weather conditions and ultimately adding to the history that embodies golf’s original championship,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “We’re honored to provide complete coverage of The Open for the first time on Golf Channel and NBC. Fans will be able to see the opening tee shot through the final putt, culminating with the ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ raising the Claret Jug.”
“We are delighted to be working with NBC Sports Group and are looking forward to their comprehensive coverage of The 145TH Open,” said Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A. “Our fans in the United States will be able to enjoy every shot over the four days of the Championship and will be part of a true celebration of golf at Royal Troon.”
NBC Sports Group Tournament Coverage: 78.5 Total Hours: NBC Sports Group will devote 49.5 live hours of tournament coverage to The 145TH Open from July 14-17, including 14.5 live hours on Golf Channel over each of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday; 10.5 live hours across Golf Channel and NBC during the third round on Saturday; and 10 live hours across Golf Channel and NBC during the final round on Sunday. In total, NBC Sports Group will provide 78.5 hours, including the live coverage of all four rounds, as well as two highlight specials on NBC from 4-6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday, and encore presentations of each round on Golf Channel. All coverage will be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra, and additional digital extensions will be announced at a later date.
Golf Channel’s Wraparound News with Golf Central Live From The Open: 59 Total Hours: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Morning Drive and Golf Central Live From The Open, will provide 31.5 live hours of comprehensive news coverage the week of The Open. Golf Central’s Live From The Open will be onsite throughout the week with 25.5 live hours from Royal Troon, which will be hosting The Open for the ninth time in its history. Morning Drive will kick things off from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. ET before The Open’s first round to lead into live coverage of the opening tee shot. Coverage will be complemented by comprehensive news and highlights via NBC Sports Digital, Golf Channel Digital and social media platforms throughout the week.
Tournament Team: In order to cover this unprecedented coverage of a major championship, Johnny Miller (1976 Open Champion), Nick Faldo (1987, 1990, 1992 Open Champion) and Frank Nobilo will rotate as lead analyst in the 18th tower. In addition, a team of NBC Sports’ analysts will contribute to the nearly 50 hours of coverage, including David Feherty, Peter Jacobson, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing, Tom Abbott, Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown, Curt Byrum, and Jerry Foltz. And Dan Hicks, Terry Gannon, Jimmy Roberts, Steve Sands and Todd Lewis will handle announcing and reporting duties.
**Doug Ferguson talks to Golf Channel's Mike McCarley about the number of hours--from first tee shot to Claret Jug ceremony--and also notes the impact on ratings.
“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.”