Industry News

NBC to devote 410 hours to British Open

UNPRECEDENTED 410 HOURS SURROUNDING 148TH OPEN LED BY NBC SPORTS GROUP’S COVERAGE FROM THE FIRST TEE SHOT THROUGH FINAL PUTT FROM ROYAL PORTRUSH

Emmy-Nominated Tournament Coverage to Feature Nearly 50 Live Hours on Linear Television (July 18-21), the Most Annually from Any Golf Tournament; Coverage to Utilize “Playing Through” Split-Screen Commercial Format

GOLF Films’ Tom at Turnberry Premieres Monday, July 8 on GOLF Channel,  Recounting Watson’s Near Win at Age 59 at The Open 10 Years Ago

Vantage Point with Mike Tirico, David Feherty Vignettes and Men In Blazers Complement Extensive News and Live Tournament Coverage from Royal Portrush

WATCH: The Open Returns to Northern Ireland for the First Time Since 1951

ORLANDO, Fla., (July 1, 2019) – In partnership with The R&A, NBC Sports Group announced its all-encompassing coverage plans for The 148TH Open, taking place July 18-21 at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. NBC Sports will dedicate 410 total hours surrounding The Open, the most ever, with 200 hours of linear programming coupled with 210 complementary hours of streaming coverage, including featured holes and marquee groups. Spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot through Sunday’s final putt, the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage will feature nearly 50 live hours, annually the most live coverage hours from any golf event.

Having covered The Open for 40 years collectively, Paul Azinger (2005-’15), Nick Faldo (2004-’07 & 2016-’18) and Mike Tirico (1997-2018) will contribute their extensive familiarity in calling golf’s original championship and be joined by the deepest and most-experienced roster of analysts, hosts, reporters and personalities in golf. The network’s live tournament and complementary coverage will feature in-depth perspective on the significance of The Open’s return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, and for only the second time ever. This year, The Open also is being staged as the final men’s major championship of the year for the first time since 1971.

“The tradition that surrounds golf’s original championship takes on added significance this year with The Open returning to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “Our extensive approach will feature an unprecedented amount of coverage, with live coverage from the first tee shot early Thursday morning through the final putt on Sunday evening. Leading up to The Open, our coverage will help set the stage with not only the competitive storylines, but also the cultural significance of Northern Ireland as host for just the second time in the 148-year history of The Open.”

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Highlights of NBC Sports’ 410 Hours of Coverage Surrounding The 148TH Open:

  • “Playing Through” Returns: Enhancing both the viewership and commercial experience, NBC Sports’ popular “Playing Through” split-screen commercial format returns for The Open, ensuring viewers don’t miss key stretches of the action during commercial breaks. During NBC Sports’ coverage of The Open at Carnoustie in 2018, an additional 181 shots of live golf were shown because of “Playing Through”.
  • Comprehensive News Coverage All Week: Called “the best 19th hole in television golf” by Golf Digest, Golf Central’s Live From The Open platform will headline nearly 70 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Royal Portrush, beginning Monday, July 15 at 9 a.m. ET. Morning Drive will complement the network’s news presence, including Midnight Drive, the show’s special 90-minute live pre-game show (Midnight-1:30 a.m. ET) that leads directly into the opening tee shot of The 148TH Open with GOLF Channel’s live coverage kicking off at 1:30 a.m. ET on Thursday morning.
  • GOLF Films’ Tom at Turnberry: Premiering on Monday, July 8 at 9 p.m. ET on GOLF Channel, Tom at Turnberry will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Tom Watson’s unthinkable run (at age 59) at winning a sixth Claret Jug. On-site coverage during The Open also will feature a collection of GOLF Films “shorts,” to help tell the stories of The 148TH Open and Royal Portrush.
  • Vantage Point with Mike Tirico Originating from Royal Portrush on Tuesday, July 16: Complementing the network’sGolf Central Live From The Open coverage, a new episode of Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will premiere on Tuesday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET, originating from Royal Portrush. The show will include a GOLF Films short from NBC Sports’ David Feherty on his native Northern Ireland, in addition to a remarkable story on efforts being made to help curb PTSD through golf at Waterville Golf Links in Ireland. Vantage Point also will welcome additional guests alongside Tirico to offer context surrounding golf’s original championship in its return to Northern Ireland for the first time in nearly seven decades. Next month also will mark Tirico’s 23rd consecutive year covering The Open, and in addition to Vantage Point he’ll also contribute to NBC Sports’ live tournament coverage.
  • The Men in Blazers Show at The Open Returns, Airing on NBCSN, July 17-21: NBC Sports’ critically-acclaimed The Men in Blazers – Roger Bennett and Michael Davies – are set to return to The Open for the second consecutive year, abandoning their Panic Room studio in the “crap part of SoHo” in Manhattan for a distant corner of Royal Portrush for a nightly show, Wednesday, July 17 through Sunday, July 22 on NBCSN. The nightly show will include featured guests, daily highlights, non-traditional stories and cultural elements from The Open presented in the duo’s signature, unconventional style. In addition to the nightly show on NBCSN from Royal Portrush, Rog and Davo will offer their unique takes on The Open through a series of features for NBC Sports’ overarching coverage.
  • David Feherty Vignettes Highlight Unique Aspects of The Open: A native of Northern Ireland, NBC Sports’ David Feherty will deliver a collection of his signature vignettes to highlight the underappreciated and perhaps overlooked aspects of The Open from a local’s perspective. Excursions for Feherty will include an education on the ancient game of Hurling, a sport of Gaelic and Irish origins; a journey to locate a proper source for traditional Irish music; and a morning spent at sea attempting to catch his breakfast. Other content elements will include a story on the 2007 Walker Cup team, and a recollection of Rory McIlroy’s course record-setting 61 at Royal Portrush as a 16-year-old.
  • Chronicles of a Champion Golfer: GOLF Channel will premiere new episodes of Chronicles of a Champion Golfer, a compelling series featuring first-person narratives of past Open champions. Airing on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET, upcoming episodes include Jordan Spieth (July 2 – 2017 champion), and Johnny Miller (July 9 – 1976 champion). The full library ofChronicles of a Champion Golfer episodes are currently available on GOLFPASS, featuring Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, among others.
  • Golf’s Greatest Rounds: GOLF Channel will travel back in time with a collection of memorable Open Championships.Golf’s Greatest Rounds will relive the signature moments from past champions Darren Clarke (July 3 – 2011; Royal St. George’s), and Rory McIlroy (July 10 – 2014; Royal Liverpool).

NBC SPORTS GROUP LINEAR PROGRAMMING: THE 148TH OPEN

Live Tournament Coverage

49 Hours

Tournament Replay Coverage

29 Hours

News Programming

68.25 Hours

Other Open-Themed Programming

53.75 Hours

TOTAL

200 Hours (Linear Programming)

AIRTMES FOR THE 148TH OPEN WEEK (All Times EST)

Monday, July 15

7-9 a.m. Morning Drive

9-11 a.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sky Sports – On The Range

7-9 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

9-10 p.m. The Road to Royal Portrush

Tuesday, July 16

6-10 a.m. / Noon-2 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

10 a.m.-Noon Morning Drive

9-10 p.m. Vantage Point with Mike Tirico

Wednesday, July 17

6-10 a.m. / Noon-2 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

10 a.m.-Noon Morning Drive

11-11:30 p.m. The Men in Blazers (NBCSN)

Thursday, July 18

Midnight-1:30 a.m. Midnight Drive

1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The Open – First Round

4-5 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

11-11:30 p.m. The Men in Blazers (NBCSN)

Friday, July 19

1:30-4 p.m. The Open – Second Round

4-5 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

11-11:30 p.m. The Men in Blazers (NBCSN)

Saturday, July 20

5-7 a.m. The Open – Third Round

7-11 a.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

7 a.m.-3 p.m. The Open – Third Round (NBC)

3-4 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

1-1:30 a.m. The Men in Blazers (NBCSN, Saturday Overnight)

Sunday, July 21

4-7 a.m. The Open – Final Round

7-9:45 a.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

7 a.m.-2 p.m. The Open – Final Round (NBC)

2-4 p.m. Golf Central Live From The Open

10-10:30 p.m. The Men in Blazers (NBCSN)

ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP’S GOLF DIVISION
NBC Sports Group’s GOLF division delivers multimedia golf content, technology and services. Anchored by GOLF Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 – GOLF content is available to nearly 500 million viewers in nine languages across more than 70 countries around the world. GOLF features more live coverage of the sport than all other U.S. networks combined, including global tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, European Tour, NCAA, THE PLAYERS, The Open, Olympics, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage from the world of golf via GOLF Digital, fans can access 24/7 live streaming through the NBC Sports App, as well as complementary coverage via PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold. In addition to these all-encompassing media platforms, NBC Sports connects the world to golf through a wide array of technology and lifestyle services, including: GOLFNOW, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform; GOLF Business Solutions, solving business needs through leading technology, marketing and services; GOLFPASS, an all-in-one digital membership delivering comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle; Revolution GOLF, the world’s largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf, offering best-in-class video instruction and game improvement products; GOLF Advisor, the ultimate digital destination for the traveling golfer, featuring the largest number of user-generated golf course ratings and reviews in the industry; GOLF Academy, a North American network of instructional facilities; and GOLF Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour. GOLF’s global reach originates from its world headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and extends to its international office in Belfast, Northern Ireland; regional offices across North America, Europe and Australia; and also includes collaborations with Sky Sports and serving as the Official Media Partner of St Andrews Links.

-NBC Sports Group-

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Media Contact:
Jeff Szklinski
GOLF Channel Communications
407-248-3267
Jeff.Szklinski@golfchannel.com

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