SBD/October 7, 2013/Media

NBC Criticized For Tape-Delaying Final Day Of Presidents Cup Matches

NBC showed Woods clinch the win for the U.S. hours after it occurred
NBC tape delayed the start of singles matches in yesterday's Presidents Cup, which "suffered through a number of lengthy rain delays forcing the tournament to move tee times and reschedule uncompleted rounds and NBC and Golf Channel to fill some time with tape delayed recaps of earlier play," according to John Eggerton of BROADCASTING & CABLE. Golf Channel "did provide live coverage of the delayed end of Saturday matches" -- from 7:30-9:30am ET, which it "was not scheduled to do." An NBC source said that Golf Channel was "able to do the early morning live coverage because the NBC coverage had met its ad commitments the night before." But the rescheduled early start of yesterday's singles finals matches "were not covered live on either network so NBC could stick to its planned noon-6 window." The early start "was to make sure the round could be finished in case the rain intervened yet again." Contractual obligations, affiliate commitments, and NBC's Sunday morning news and public affairs programming "necessitated delayed coverage on NBC, barring further weather delays." That commitment "included getting six hours from NBC affiliates" for yesterday's coverage. A source said that either NBC or Golf Channel "would have loved to go live, but that for NBC it would have meant trying to move 'Meet the Press' and winding up with a hole at the end of the day." Moving it to Golf Channel "would not have worked given the ads already sold into the NBC coverage" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 10/7).

WOULD THIS HAPPEND WITH RYDER CUP? Golf Magazine's Joe Passov in GOLF.com's weekly roundtable said of NBC tape-delaying the coverage, "It strikes me as bush league. If the Presidents Cup were truly the stature of the Ryder Cup, it all would have been live, regardless of weather woes wreaking havoc on scheduling." SI's Mike Walker said, "NBC Sports let the PGA Tour down. ... NBC Sports refused to show the event live. They don't deserve to have the U.S. Open." SI's Jeff Ritter: "It made it feel like a run-of-the-mill Tour event, which is unfortunate. But Golf Magazine's Josh Sens said, "From a fan's perspective, I'm not sure it's such a bad thing. It allows for a crisper broadcast of an event that would have a lot of agonizing lulls if it were shown live." SI's Gary Van Sickle: "NBC didn't have a choice. ... Does anybody remember which Tour events were shown tape-delayed after the fact?" (GOLF.com, 10/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Brian Murphy wrote, "Don't want to say the 2013 President's Cup was anticlimactic, but getting a text alert on your smart phone Sunday afternoon that informs you Team USA won the Cup when Tiger Woods defeated Richard Sterne, 1-up -- while on your TV, Tiger Woods lined up a putt on the 12th hole -- was, shall we say, excitement-deficient" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/6).

JOB WELL DONE: GOLFWEEK's Martin Kaufmann wrote the more he hears on-course reporter Notah Begay III on NBC's golf coverage, the "more I’m convinced that I sold him short" when he was added to the net's crew. Begay has "really taken to his role with NBC." Begay "doesn’t seem to make mistakes, and he keeps his comments concise -- not always the case with guys who haven’t done the job for long." He also has a "voice that’s easy to listen to," which is an "important asset." Kaufmann: "I suspect he might be doing TV work for a long time. Somewhere down the road, I could even envision him occasionally getting some action in the 18th tower as a lead analyst for Golf Channel or NBC" (GOLFWEEK.com, 10/5).
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