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NBC STEPS UP TO ITS FIRST MAJOR WITH THE U.S. OPEN
Published May 10, 1995
NBC faces a "major challenge" as it assumes coverage of the U.S. Open after a 29-year reign on ABC, according to a preview of the tournament in the June issue of GOLF DIGEST. Peter McCleery writes that pictures and words of NBC's telecast "will be palpably different." NBC won the rights to the Open this year by outbidding ABC with a $40M guaranteed deal over the first three years of the contract. NBC Exec Producer Tom Roy: "I think we'll take it to new heights." McCleery credits Roy's takeover as NBC's primary golf producer in '92 for improved quality in golf coverage, and writes that this year's open "will be its culmination." McCleery: "It's a chance to prove that NBC can do golf, at a huge occasion, on a level with CBS and ABC." As for the coverage, McCleery notes that the USGA, unlike the Masters, "is much more subtle" in imposing restrictions on broadcasts, so the network will have more control. NBC, unlike ABC, uses fewer stationary cameras in its coverage, replacing them with movable cameras mounted on the backs of utility vehicles called "rat packs." The network says these allow for more flexibility. Finally, McCleery notes that NBC's addition of early afternoon coverage will "probably" bring down total ratings numbers because "the longer the telecast, the lower the rating" (GOLF DIGEST, 6/95 issue).