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SBD/Issue 151/Sports Media
U.S. Open Again Airing In Primetime With West Coast Location
Published April 20, 2010
The USGA formally announced that the June 17-20 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach will be broadcast in primetime on NBC and ESPN to the Eastern and Central time zones. ESPN will have 14 hours of broadcast coverage for the first two rounds with air times of 1:00pm-3:00pm ET and 5:00-10:00pm. NBC will offer 16 hours of coverage over all four rounds, with air times of 3:00-5:00pm on Thursday and Friday; 4:30-11:00pm on Saturday and from 3:00-9:00pm on Sunday (USGA). In N.Y., Michael Starr writes it "makes sense to move US Open coverage to prime time," since Tiger Woods' return to The Masters earlier this month "was a ratings bonanza for ESPN and CBS, both of which carried Masters coverage." The U.S. Open aired in primetime in '08 from Torrey Pines Golf Course outside San Diego, "when it was carried from 4-10 p.m. and 3-9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, earning its best ratings in six years" (N.Y. POST, 4/20). In Orlando, Jeff Shain wrote the formula "certainly worked two years ago, when Tiger Woods’ dramatic effort ... eventually won his third Open crown in a Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate." Shain: "Think NBC wasn’t salivating for the chance to try it at Pebble Beach?" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 4/19). The story was first reported by SportsBusiness Journal in November.