Tirico’s ‘Vantage Point’
Mike Tirico will add another section to his on-air résumé. The versatile announcer will host a one-hour news magazine show for Golf Channel before coverage of the sport’s biggest events.
“Vantage Point with Mike Tirico” debuts in prime time July 17, two days before the British Open starts. Tirico also will host a show before the PGA Championship in August and before all four golf majors next year. The shows will run in the 9 p.m. time slot.
While Tirico has become one of the highest-profile studio hosts on sports TV and one of the most prolific play-by-play voices of his generation, this effort will mark his first time hosting a magazine-style show.
“The timing of it works out well since now I’ve moved a little bit more to studio stuff for the moment than actually calling events,” Tirico said. “It’s a general career progression, and it will be a lot of fun.”
It may be a general career progression, but it does not mean that Tirico will leave play-by-play. When he was at ESPN, Tirico was in the broadcast booth for a host of sports, including the NFL, NBA and college basketball. Since joining NBC in 2016, Tirico has called some games, including Notre Dame football. But he has done more studio work and was tapped by NBC to replace Bob Costas as Olympic host.
“I still love calling events, and that’s probably the thing that I enjoy doing the most,” he said. “But this time of my career at NBC and Golf Channel, it kind of lends a little bit more in the studio. I love the opportunities to do both things.”
Tirico’s new show will be composed of an interview with one of golf’s A-listers, similar to interviews Tirico conducted with Rory McIlroy before the Masters and Phil Mickelson before the U.S. Open. The show also will use features from “Golf Central,” and will have a roundtable of analysts and journalists discussing issues in the sport.
Tirico said he is looking forward to telling stories around a sport he loves. He referenced a piece he did before the U.S. Open on Jimmy Dunne, a New York financier who set the course record at Shinnecock Hills. Dunne was on a golf course trying to qualify for a USGA event instead of being in his office in the Twin Towers on 9/11. He vowed to help pay for college for all the kids who lost parents working in the firm.
“I’ve done a lot of stories over the years, but I’ve never received more comments from friends, people in other sports who I cover about a featured story like that,” Tirico said. “Golf is so rich with storytelling and gives you a great canvas to tell really good stories. Those types of stories that can’t be told in two or 2 1/2 minutes but need six, seven or eight minutes, we’ve got space for them now, which I’m excited about.”
At the British Open, NBC Sports will have coverage from the first tee shot to the final putt — nearly 50 hours in total. In addition to Tirico’s show, Golf Channel is planning 45 hours of shoulder programming around the event, including “Feherty” and programming from Golf Films.
“It’s not a show that’s on every week, so it’s going to have a different feel and rhythm, but that’s OK,” Tirico said. “Hopefully, with my almost quarter century of covering the sport and relationships with folks in the golf industry, we can put on a show that will help people enjoy those events a little bit more no matter where they are.”
— John Ourand