FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF 146TH OPEN; FIRST TEE SHOT TO FINAL PUTT, THE MOST LIVE HOURS FROM A MAJOR FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Live Tournament Coverage to Utilize NBC Sports’ Popular
“Playing Through” Split-Screen Commercial Break Format
NBC Sports’ Authentic Storytelling Includes Wide-Range of Unique Voices:
5 Past “Champion Golfers of the Year;” Mike Tirico (21st Straight Open);
David Feherty’s Theory of Fehertivity;
& NBCSN’s The Men In Blazers Show Collaboration
Comprehensive Golf Central Live From The Open Coverage Complemented by
Nostalgic Open-Themed Programming, Including: Golf Films’ Summer of ’76;
Chronicles of a Champion Golfer; Golf’s Greatest Rounds: The Open
ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2017 – NBC Sports Group, in partnership with the R&A, is announcing its programming plans for the next men’s major – The 146TH Open – taking place July 20-23 at Royal Birkdale, located north of Liverpool in England. Comprehensive coverage plans surrounding golf’s original championship will include live coverage beginning with the opening tee shot on Thursday to the final putt on Sunday, culminating with the “Champion Golfer of the Year” being awarded the Claret Jug. In the second year of the landmark 13-year partnership with the R&A, NBC Sports again will dedicate a record 49.5 scheduled live hours of tournament coverage, the most for any major championship.
“NBC Sports is committed to showcasing The Open and all of the elements that make it special,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “The unparalleled history, trademark links courses, and dramatic weather all come into play while the best players in the world vie for golf’s original championship. The Open is unique, and NBC Sports is uniquely suited to tell its complete story with our broad media portfolio and award-winning, critically acclaimed approach to golf.”
NBC Sports Utilizing Popular “Playing Through” Enhanced Commercial Breaks
In response to the overwhelmingly positive reaction from viewers, partners, and advertisers for its implementation at the 2016 Ryder Cup, NBC Sports will utilize “Playing Through” enhanced commercial breaks during all four days of coverage at The Open. By partnering with several national advertisers, coverage will present select commercial breaks that employ a split-screen model displaying both the advertisement (with audio), while also providing a continuous production from Royal Birkdale – ensuring viewers don’t miss critical stretches of the action.
NBC Sports’ Authentic Voices from The Open:
- 5 Past “Champion Golfers of the Year:” NBC Sports’ broadcast team at Royal Birkdale will utilize five past “Champion Golfers of the Year” who have previously hoisted the Claret Jug a combined seven times, including: David Duval (2001), Nick Faldo (1987, ’90, ’92), Justin Leonard (1997), Johnny Miller (1976) and Mark O’Meara (1998).
- Host Mike Tirico Calling 21st Consecutive Open: A familiar voice at The Open, Mike Tirico will contribute with play-by-play duties on Golf Channel, in addition to hosting NBC’s weekend coverage, marking 21 consecutive years across NBC, ABC and ESPN of Tirico calling The Open.
- David’s Feherty’s Theory of Fehertivity Vignettes: David Feherty will deliver a series of his signature Theory of Fehertivity vignettes to highlight the quirky, exotic and distinctive aspects of The Open from his unique perspective. Areas of focus for Feherty will include the iconic “Coliseum” of grandstands, the notorious yellow scoreboard and host clubhouse that adorns the 18th green at The Open, along with a lesser known venue, the Liverpool Lawnmower Museum, in true Feherty fashion.
- The Men In Blazers Show Co-Hosts to Offer Unique Take on The Open: In an NBC Sports Group collaboration, Michael Davies and Roger Bennett – co-hosts of the The Men In Blazers Show on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) – will leave the cozy confines of their Panic Room covering the Premier League to bring their “suboptimal ways” to golf via several features shot at Royal Birkdale for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and Golf Central Live From The Open. Both natives of Britain, the lively duo will provide their take on the stature of The Open and its place in professional sports in a fashion uniquely suited to their offbeat approach.
Beyond the Championship: Emmy-Nominated News, Original Programming at The Open
Golf Channel will be onsite at Royal Birkdale with nearly 30 live hours of news coverage during The Open, with its Emmy-nominated Golf Central Live From The Open platform and Morning Drive. Additionally, Golf Channel will showcase the rich history of The Open with a slate of original productions, including:
- Golf Films Summer of ’76 to Feature Duel Between Miller, Ballesteros
Golf Channel’s next Golf Films project – Summer of ’76 – will recount the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale. Johnny Miller collided with a previously unknown, charismatic 19-year-old, Seve Ballesteros, in an iconic Open duel. The project looks back – in a classic 70’s, laid-back, sentimental style – on one of the most-influential periods in the history of professional golf, and the cultural influences of the times. Joining the Emmy-nominated Golf Films unit, 22-year veteran Golf Channel host Rich Lerner is co-producing Summer of ’76, which premieres Tuesday, July 18, at 9 p.m. ET.
- Chronicles of a Champion Golfer to Celebrate Past Open Winners
As momentum and anticipation build ahead of The 146th Open, NBC Sports will present six new installments of Chronicles of a Champion Golfer, a compelling documentary series featuring first-person recollections of past Open champions having earned the title: “Champion Golfer of the Year.” Golf Channel will premiere back-to-back episodes in primetime on Tuesday night’s, beginning at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air encores of Chronicles of a Champion Golfer throughout July ahead of The Open. Golf Channel’s schedule:
Tuesday, June 27 Rory McIlroy (2014) 9 p.m. ET
Nick Faldo (1987, ’90, ’92) 9:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 4 Lee Trevino (1971, ’72) 9 p.m. ET
Gary Player (1959, ’68, ’74) 9:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 11 Henrik Stenson (2016) 9 p.m. ET
Padraig Harrington (2007, ’08) 9:30 p.m. ET
- Golf’s Greatest Rounds Takes Golf Fans Back to Classic Open Moments
Adding to the anticipation ahead of The Open, Golf Channel will feature encore telecasts of several of the most unforgettable Opens in recent memory. Beginning Wednesday, June 28, and continuing the following two Wednesdays in primetime, Golf’s Greatest Rounds will celebrate the signature moments that led to Tom Watson (1977, “Duel in the Sun”), Phil Mickelson (2013) and Henrik Stenson (2016) ultimately raising the Claret Jug:
Wednesday, June 28 1977 Open (Watson) 8:30-10:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 5 2013 Open (Mickelson) 8:30-11 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 12 2016 Open (Stenson) 8:30-11 p.m. ET
NBC Sports’ Open Qualifying Series Event Coverage Leading Up to The Open
NBC Sports Group will feature live coverage of the final six official Open Qualifying Series events, including two events staged on famed links golf courses, leading up to the 146th Open:
- June 29-July 2: PGA TOUR: Quicken Loans National (Up to 4 qualifiers)
European Tour: HNA Open de France (Up to 3 qualifiers)
- July 6-9 PGA TOUR: The Greenbrier Classic (Up to 4 qualifiers)
European Tour: Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (Up to 3 qualifiers)
- July 13-16 PGA TOUR: John Deere Classic (Up to 1 qualifier)
European Tour: Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (Up to 3 qualifiers)
NBC Sports Group’s Live Tournament Programming Schedule: The Open
All live tournament coverage will be streamed on Golf Channel Digital and the Golf Channel App:
Thursday, July 20 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Live) Golf Channel
Friday, July 21 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Live) Golf Channel
Saturday, July 22 4:30-7 a.m. (Live) Golf Channel
7 a.m.-3 p.m. (Live) NBC
4:30-6 p.m. (Encore) NBC
Sunday, July 23 4-7 a.m. (Live) Golf Channel
7 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) NBC
-NBC Sports Group-