Greg Norman Offered Fox Analyst Role For Net's First U.S. Open Broadcast In '15
Golfer Greg Norman has "already been offered the lead analyst's job" by Fox for when the net "starts broadcasting the U.S. Open in 2015," according to Tim Rosaforte of GOLFDIGEST.com. Norman in an e-mail wrote Fox Senior Exec VP David Hill has "reached out to me, we have spoken and yes, they have offered me the job." Rosaforte wrote the job "would be a perfect fit for Norman -- if he can agree to terms." Given his "various business interests," Norman "isn't looking for the type of schedule" analyst Johnny Miller has with NBC. However, the "one-week showcase would give him a highly-visible platform." As a "voice in the game, Norman has already shown he can follow in Miller's footsteps calling out players" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 8/10). Norman said, "I need to talk with David and see if it will work for me. One, I need to understand the time requirements and two, the expectations." GOLFWEEK.com's Alex Miceli noted the next step will be a meeting in L.A. "in the very near future with Hill to discuss with Norman his future with Fox." CBS in '05 "before offering the job to Nick Faldo ... offered the lead analyst role to Norman, who eventually declined because it would have required too much travel" (GOLFWEEK.com, 8/11). GOLF WORLD MONDAY's John Strege writes speculation on who will host Fox' golf coverage "has to start with Joe Buck, already the lead play-by-play man" on NFL and MLB games for the net (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 8/12 issue).
SHARK WEEK OR SHARK WEAK? GOLF.com writers and editors discussed Norman's potential hire in a roundtable. Joe Passov said, "Norman has serious cred, not just for his playing record, good and bad, but for his breadth of knowledge about the game, from golf swings to equipment to course design. ... That said, I'll take Brandel Chamblee in a heartbeat. He's the most concise, articulate and opinionated analyst in the game right now." Cameron Morfit said, "I'd keep Miller in for a while until I was sure Norman really wanted to do it the way it needs to be done." Mark Godich said, "I'm not sure I wouldn't stick with Miller. But I am nominating Gus Johnson as the play-by-play guy." Eamon Lynch said, "Norman is certainly a man of strong opinions, but that doesn't always make for a good announcer." Gary Van Sickle said, "Fox needs to hire the splashiest name it can, whether he's a good analyst or not. I'd try to get Paul Azinger or Brandel Chamblee, or see if I could pry Johnny Miller loose from his NBC contract" (GOLF.com, 8/11).
GOING INSIDE THE DEAL: GOLFWEEK.com's Adam Schupak wrote under the header, "USGA & Fox: Inside The Deal That Stunned Golf Media Landscape." Former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson said, "The USGA is joining a list of major sports properties working with Fox. They are in the business of growing a cable channel. They want to get maximum sub rates. They’d like to get $1 a sub. They want to get maximum penetration. They want to get in 100 million homes. The way to do that is to gather up some of the major sports properties available." USGA Senior Managing Dir of Business Affairs Sarah Hirshland said that the organization would "collaborate with Fox in selecting the broadcasters to cover its events." Hirshland: "Fox invited that. We didn’t have to force that. Quite frankly, I hope they push us a little bit. That’s one of the goals for us. We want to welcome the fresh perspective" (GOLFWEEK.com, 8/9). Fox Sports Media Group co-President & co-COO Randy Freer said, "Having FS1 was a huge help. For the number of hours committed to this, the only way that would have been possible is due to the addition of FS1. We’re here to compete for rights and you need to have fully distributed outlets to do that with" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/12 issue).