Tuesday, June 26, 2018

NBC Sports Group Announces Comprehensive Coverage Plans Surrounding 147th Open

NBC Sports’ Emmy-Nominated Tournament Coverage to Feature Nearly 50 Live Hours from Carnoustie, the Most Annually from Any Golf Event

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – NBC Sports Group – in partnership with The R&A – has announced its comprehensive coverage plans for The 147th Open, taking place July 19-22 at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Across NBC Sports, 182 hours of programming will showcase the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt. NBC Sports’ storytelling will be led by the deepest and most-experienced roster of analysts, hosts, reporters and personalities in golf, who will share their expertise surrounding golf’s original major championship.

“The Open is unique. Golf’s original championship isn’t just steeped in nearly 150 years of tradition – it features a multitude of storylines that fuel our comprehensive coverage plan,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “Fans look forward to the best players in the world facing off against nature’s elements – this year at iconic Carnoustie Golf Links – in their quest to become the Champion Golfer of the Year. Our extensive approach utilizes our deep roster of commentators to set the stage leading up to our unprecedented coverage from the first tee shot early Thursday morning through the last putt on Sunday evening.”

Highlights of NBC Sports’ 182 Hours of Coverage Surrounding The 147th 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 Royal Birkdale last year, an additional 200 shots of live golf were shown via “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 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie, beginning Monday, July 16 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 147th Open with Golf Channel’s live coverage kicking off  at 1:30 a.m. ET on Thursday morning.
· Mike Tirico Hosting New Special, Vantage Point, on Tuesday, July 17: To help set the table ahead of The Open, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From platform, Vantage Point will feature an in-depth interview conducted by Tirico with a prominent figure in golf, revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, and uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the event. Additionally, Tirico will lead a roundtable discussion with some of golf’s premier storytellers from Carnoustie. This will mark Tirico’s 22nd consecutive year covering The Open.

“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate extending that commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”

· Golf Films’ Go Down Swinging Revisits Golf’s Most-Epic Collapse: Premiering on Monday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, Go Down Swinging will recount the unforgettable conclusion to The 1999 Open at Carnoustie. The film will include intimate interviews with Jean van de Velde and his caddie, Christophe Angiolini, along with eventual winner Paul Lawrie and dozens of additional witnesses – including Tirico and Peter Alliss – recalling the unbelievable sequence of events on the 72nd hole. Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner joins 13-time Emmy award-winner Israel DeHerrara to co-produce this latest Golf Films project.
· The Men in Blazers to Debut Nightly Show on NBCSN from Carnoustie, July 18-22: NBC Sports’ critically-acclaimed The Men in Blazers – Roger Bennett and Michael Davies – will leave behind their Panic Room studio in the “crap part of SoHo” in Manhattan to host a nightly show originating from Carnoustie, starting Wednesday, July 18 and airing on NBCSN. The duo’s signature, unconventional style of covering soccer will pivot to their unique takes on The Open, once again delivering a series of features for NBC Sports’ overarching coverage. The new nightly NBCSN show will expand that coverage with daily highlights, non-traditional stories and cultural elements from The Open as only they can.

“Both Davo and I grew up with The Open being the heartbeat of our sporting year,” said Bennett. “To cover it from that beautiful monster that is Carnoustie is the honor of a lifetime. We look forward to savoring every attempt to tame Hogan’s Alley, the futile battle between man and nature, and all those ‘subtle’ Ian Poulter wardrobe changes, in equal measure.”

· David Feherty’s Theory of Fehertivity Vignettes Highlight Unique Aspects of The Open: David Feherty will deliver a series of his signature Theory of Fehertivity vignettes to highlight the quirky, mysterious and distinctive aspects of The Open from his unique perspective. Excursions for Feherty will include an examination of Frank Sinatra’s visit to The 1953 Open at Carnoustie; a culinary attempt at making a batch of smoked haddock; uncovering how Carnoustie’s 10th hole earned the nickname “South America”; and a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the psychological phenomenon known as the “Carnoustie Effect.”
· Chronicles of a Champion Golfer: Golf Channel will premiere three 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, new episodes include Paul Lawrie (June 26 – 1999 champion), Nick Price (July 3 – 1994 champion), and Phil Mickelson (July 10 – 2013 champion).
· Golf’s Greatest Rounds: Golf Channel will travel back in time with a collection of memorable Open Championships. Beginning Wednesday, June 27, Golf’s Greatest Rounds will relive the signature moments that led to Jordan Spieth (June 27 – 2017 at Royal Birkdale), Padraig Harrington (July 4 – 2007 at Carnoustie), and Paul Lawrie (July 11 – 1999 at Carnoustie) being named the Champion Golfer of the Year and raising the Claret Jug.

NBC Sports’ coverage of The 147th Open will highlight a month of coverage from predominantly links-style golf courses. Coverage will kick off with the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8, Ballyliffin Golf Club) and Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15, Gullane Golf Club). Following The Open at Carnoustie, The Senior Open will be staged from the Old Course at St Andrews (July 26-29) and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open (July 26-29) from Gullane Golf Club. The month will culminate with the Ricoh Women’s British Open (August 2-5) from Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Links in England.

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