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NBC Sports Surrounds The Open with Unprecedented Coverage

Key Takeaways

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.

Orlando, FL

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.”

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’s Golf 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 of Chronicles 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).

Click to view full schedule.