1000 Times Better Than More Chris Berman
Last fall NBC Sports Group announced that it extended a deal with the PGA to have broadcast rights to the Ryder Cup through the year 2030. Part of that deal that was made more public via presser today was taking back Friday coverage that was aired on ESPN for the last few versions of the matches. Day 1 coverage of the matches in 2014 at Glen Eagles will air live on Golf Channel. The LIVE part of that is also a new twist on things. For past matches hosted by Europe, NBC and/or ESPN has shown the Friday matches on delay back in the states.
The joint presser held by NBC and the PGA also mentioned that NBC and Golf Channel will air a combined 26.5 live hours of the Ryder Cup in 2014, which is the most ever for a European-based event. That’s a whole-fucking-lot of Johnny Miller.
I’ll Watch Every Second
No golf event in the world has the drama that the Ryder Cup presents. There are only 4 team matches going on at a given time for the first two days of the event. Of course there are 12 singles matches simultaneously on Sunday. Why wouldn’t the network airing this show every second live? And if the British Open can be shown live in North America in the middle of the night and into the morning the Ryder Cup sure as hell should be too.
Golf fans are crazy (myself included) and don’t want to miss a second of the action. Worse still, we don’t want our viewing of it spoiled by social media. There’s just no way some #twitternerd wouldn’t ruin your day by tweeting live results before you had a chance to watch the session when it was finally aired. NBC probably learned their lesson in delaying coverage with what they’ve dealt with for over seas Olympic games they also have the broadcast rights to. Knowing the results before network coverage airs the action kills ratings, that’s a fact.
I joke about getting more Johnny Miller with NBC getting the extra day of coverage, but the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Open are probably where Miller is at his best. Additionally, NBC airs golf week in and week out throughout the PGA Tour season. Why let ESPN take their hacks at it in such a marquee event when the NBC guys are so much better at it? If you don’t think it matters, pay close attention to the difference in what ESPN gives you during the first two rounds of the Masters this year in comparison to what CBS does over the weekend. Comparing the two is typically a big mismatch.
Today’s announcement is music to the hears of golf nuts and Ryder Cup fans. My only question is why did it take this long to figure it out?