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Golf Channel on NBC

Golf Channel on NBC
Starring List of NBC Golf commentators
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes N/A
Original channel NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run 1954 – present
External links

Golf Channel on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of golf on the NBC television networks produced by NBC Sports in conjunction with Golf Channel. Its coverage focuses mostly on the PGA Tour (NBC shares broadcast rights for weekend rounds with CBS Sports), but also includes other major events such as the Ryder Cup, and tournaments from other tours that NBC holds rights to.

While originally using generic branding based off the event or tour (such as The PGA Tour on NBC), NBC's parent company was acquired by Comcast in February 2011. As Comcast already owned Golf Channel (who is the PGA Tour's current cable partner), its operations were merged directly into NBC Sports, and golf telecasts on NBC were re-branded as Golf Channel on NBC (in a similar fashion to ESPN's co-branding of sports broadcast by ABC since September 2006). However, since 2013, efforts have been made to bring both Golf Channel and GC on NBC to be more in line with the rest of the NBC Sports Group (the same strategy has been applied to Comcast SportsNet).


  • Coverage overview 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Acquisition of U.S. Open rights (1995) 1.2
    • Expansion of PGA Tour rights (2007) 1.3
    • Golf Channel re-branding (2011) 1.4
    • Loss of U.S. Open rights (2014) 1.5
  • Relationship with cable partners 2
  • Graphics 3
    • 1998-2006 3.1
    • 2007-2010 3.2
    • 2011-2012 3.3
    • 2013-2014 3.4
    • 2014-present 3.5
  • Tournaments 4
    • Current 4.1
    • Former 4.2
  • Commentators 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Coverage overview

Early years

The PGA Tour on NBC logo prior to the Golf Channel rebranding.

NBC first got into golf with the U.S. Open from 19541965, however when the USGA decided on a true contract in 1966, NBC left. The network did televise a handful of PGA Tour events over the following decades.

In 1983, the first Skins Game was held. NBC televised the event throughout the U.S. with Vin Scully as the announcer. From 1983-1989, Scully broadcast both golf and Major League Baseball for NBC, usually teaming with Lee Trevino. The only notable affiliate not to televise the first event was KYW-TV in Philadelphia. In 1991, the coverage moved to ABC Sports, after NBC got the rights to Notre Dame football.

After Vin Scully left NBC Sports following their loss of the Major League Baseball package to CBS, Bryant Gumbel, who was still co-hosting Today at the time for NBC took over as NBC's primary golf anchor. In [1991, Gumbel was replaced by Charlie Jones and subsequently, Dan Hicks. The American Century Celebrity Golf Classic was held in 1990[1] and sponsored by NBC, who broadcasts the second and third round coverage. The game NBC Sports Real Golf was unveiled at the 17th annual American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Event and promoted during NBC's broadcast of the event.

NBC generally televised around five regular PGA Tour events per season at this time.

Acquisition of U.S. Open rights (1995)

In 1995, NBC Sports acquired rights to the USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, from ESPN/ABC. ESPN did retain rights to a portion of the weekday coverage, however NBC was the dominant rights holder, including exclusive weekend coverage. This took NBCs coverage to a new level, and it was the first time in the modern era of television that NBC had televised a major championship. NBC, and its lead analyst Johnny Miller (who jonied NBC in 1990), would become synonymous with the U.S. Open, televising it for the next twenty years.

Expansion of PGA Tour rights (2007)

In January 2006, the PGA Tour announced a new set of television deals covering 2007 to 2012. U.S.G.A. Championships, including the U.S. Open.[4] NBC is the only one to provide four days of major tournament coverage (CBS, which airs the Masters and the PGA Championship, only provides weekend coverage of its tournaments; starting in 2010, the Open Championship would not be aired live on an over-the-air network at all, with all four rounds airing on ESPN and only edited highlights screened by ABC).

NBC carried the weekend coverage of the JELD-WEN Tradition in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Golf Channel covered the early rounds (and all four rounds in 2008 while NBC carried the Olympic Games from Beijing). The World Series of Golf was held May 13–16, 2007, and was televised by NBC June 23–24, 2007. Meanwhile, the second event was played May 12–15, 2008, and was televised by CBS on June 28–29.

In 2007, The Shark Shootout was moved to December, and was broadcast live by both Golf Channel and NBC. The event was originally broadcast in the United States by the USA Network and CBS, with USA broadcasting the first round on a tape-delayed basis, and CBS handling the second round live. Not all the country saw the final round live, as CBS' commitment to the NFL only allowed part of the country to see the round as it takes place, with the rest of the U.S. seeing the event beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

Golf Channel re-branding (2011)

Golf Channel on NBC logo from 2011–14.

In January 2011, Comcast, owners of Golf Channel, acquired a majority stake in NBC Universal, owners of the NBC network. Comcast's existing sports properties were aligned into the NBC Sports division, meaning that Golf Channel could now share personalities and other personnel with NBC. As a result of this synergy, Golf Channel took over production of all golf telecasts on NBC, which were now co-branded as Golf Channel on NBC, beginning at the 2011 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.[5][5]

While most golf broadcasts on NBC used Golf Channel's imagery as a result of the changes, the Players Championship, Ryder Cup, and USGA tournaments maintain the distinctive theme music that NBC used prior to the re-branding (such as the theme from The Man from Snowy River for the Players, and Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" for the U.S. Open and other USGA events), and their use were also extended to Golf Channel's telecasts as well. As ESPN owned cable rights to the U.S. Open, NBC's coverage was credited as being a presentation of NBC Sports rather than Golf Channel, although Golf Channel-branded graphics were still used.

In both 2013 and 2014, NBC broadcast weekend coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open from Scotland. The 2013 event was played at Castle Stuart near Inverness, while the 2014 event was hosted by Royal Aberdeen, near Aberdeen. The coverage both years was anchored by Rich Lerner, and the action was called by lead European Tour announcer Dougie Donnelly and Golf Channel's lead PGA Tour analyst Frank Nobilo.

Loss of U.S. Open rights (2014)

In August 2013, it was announced that NBC had lost the USGA contract to Fox Sports, beginning in 2015. Fox, which by the time of their first U.S. Open will have televised just two PGA Tour sanctioned events in its history (the unofficial CVS Caremark Charity Classic in 2011 and the unofficial Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2014), paid $1 billion for rights for full rights to all USGA championships. Miller expressed disappointment at the loss, saying that he "had a feeling" NBC would not retain rights, and that Fox would not be able to "fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open". The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort was the network's twentieth, and final, U.S. Open telecast in the modern era. The final telecast concluded with an emotional goodbye from hosts Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller, followed full credits sequence played over Yanni's "In Celebration of Man", the network's distinctive theme song for the USGA championships. The network then showed a short video montage, which included clips of both great shots and collapses from the years of televising the event. The montage concluded with a reel of every winning putt from NBC's twenty U.S. Opens, with the final shot being of 2014 champion Martin Kaymer.

Relationship with cable partners

At varying times, NBC has been a sister network to cable outlets which also broadcast the PGA Tour. In 2005 and 2006, recent NBC/Universal acquisition USA Network was scheduled to carry early-round coverage of four out of the five regular PGA Tour events during the Southern Swing in which NBC had the weekend telecasts. At this time, USA had its own golf crew, which worked the events it shared with CBS Sports and ABC Sports. However, due to the joint ownership, NBC used it's regular golf crew (with the exception of Johnny Miller) on USA's weekday telecasts. Regular NBC golf host Dan Hicks led the telecasts, except at the BellSouth Classic, where USA's Bill Macatee filled in, with Hicks still anchoring on NBC over the weekend. The BellSouth arrangement was also used for USA's coverage of that year's Ryder Cup, with Macatee hosting and the rest of the NBC crew handling the telecast.

After the Golf Channel merger in 2011, the same arrangement went into effect, although Miller is present on the cable telecasts this time. Beginning in 2012, the NBC crew works on Golf Channel telecasts of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii and The Players Championship. This time however, the arrangement is not used for any of the Southern Swing events, which feature Golf Channel's regular crew on weekday telecasts. With NBC trading for it's Friday Ryder Cup cable rights back in 2014, the Ryder Cup joined the list of events in which the NBC team appeared on cable.

Various members of the NBC team also appear on telecasts of events that are broadcast solely by Golf Channel, alongside regular members of Golf Channel's crew.


Since NBC Sports adopted modern on screen graphics in 1998, NBC has used numerous unorthodox approaches to its golf graphics. Scoring graphics (the graphic displayed just prior to a shot) have always been located on the top portion of the screen, and have never used the red/black number designations for above/below par.


In 1998, NBC adopted a package that used rectangular graphics with 3D gold borders. For golf, the graphics also contained green accents. On scoring graphics, the player's last name was listed in a translucent black rectangle. Below, a fading black graphic displayed the player's score, the shot, and the distance to the hole. Above the player's name was a green oval containing the NBC logo and the hole number. In 1999, a green rectangle was added next to the hole number containing the par of the hole.

Major modifications were made for the 2002 U.S. Open. The graphics became rounded rectangles, and the background for golf was switched to translucent green. The borders became green as well. For the scoring graphics, the player's last name was listed in a half-rounded rectangle. On one end was the NBC logo. Underneath was a green strip containing the hole number, the par, and the yardage. Underneath was a larger rounded rectangle containing the player's score, the shot, and the distance to the hole.

Starting in 2003, all green components of the graphics would be switched to yellow for USGA events only (such as the U.S. Open). In 2004, the plain NBC logo was replaced with either the "PGA Tour on NBC" logo or the "USGA on NBC" logo (depending on the event).


In 2007, a modified version of NBC's new graphics package was used for golf. It used grey for the base of the graphics rather than the black used for some other sports, but the basic design was the same. For the scoring graphic, a grey rectangle contained the player's last name. On the left end was either the "PGA Tour on NBC" or the "USGA on NBC" logo. On the right end was a black square with a missing corner which contained the player's score. Underneath was a black strip containing the hole number, the par, and the yardage. If needed, a yellow drop down underneath the strip would contain the shot. If distance the hole was used for a shot, it was located in a black graphic on the right portion of the yellow drop down.

During The Players Championship, a green PGA Tour designed package was used, the layout of which mirrored NBC's regular graphics but used different fonts and designs.


In 2011, with the Golf Channel merger, NBC Golf adopted Golf Channel's graphics full-time. However, the layout of the Golf Channel scoring graphics was drastically modified to fit the layout of NBC's previous golf graphics. A black rectangle contained the player's last name, with a light blue square to its right containing the player's score. Underneath was a dull gray strip containing the hole number, the par and the yardage. If needed, a drop down contained the show in white text, and if used the distance to the hole in yellow text to the right. On the left side of the graphic, a white square contained either the PGA Tour logo or the USGA logo. The Golf Channel logo was located on the top of the graphic, in between the white square and the player's name. On NBC, an opaque "Golf Channel on NBC" logo (combining the Golf Channel logo and the NBC peacock) was located in the lower right corner of all telecasts. At the 2011 Players Championship, the old Players graphics continued to be used, which had been based on the previous NBC look.

At the 2012 Players Championship, the regular Golf Channel graphics were used, but with a navy blue base and the scores in yellow boxes instead of light blue. Beginning at this event, the "Golf Channel on NBC" logo permanently replaced the Golf Channel logo on all graphics.


At the first three NBC events of 2013, the Golf Channel look continued to be used. However, beginning at the WGC-Match Play in February, both NBC and Golf Channel adopted a variation of NBC's new graphics look. The scoring graphics contained a dark blue bar with the player's last name. To the right was a light blue rectangle containing the player's score. Underneath was a silver strip containing the hole number, the par, and the yardage. To the left was a dark blue box containing either the PGA Tour, USGA, or European Tour logo. A slate grey bar dropped down underneath the hole info strip, which contained the shot in white text, and if necessary, the distance to the hole in yellow text. The opaque "Golf Channel on NBC" logo remained in the lower right of the screen.

In May 2014, the Golf Channel logo was eliminated and all golf programming on both Golf Channel and NBC used an "NBC Golf" logo. At the 2014 Players Championship several changes were made to golf package. The hole number remained in its silver box, but the rest of the strip was removed and replaced by a black rectangle containing the "NBC Golf" logo and either 3, 4 or 5 boxes. These boxes represent the par, and each one contains a number, counting upward from left to right. The shot number that the golfer is playing is highlighted in blue. If the player is playing a shot for bogey or worse the highlight is yellow instead. The yardage was moved to underneath the hole number.To the right of the yardage is a small rectangle with a blue background containing the shot or distance to the hole. If the player is playing a shot for bogey or worse the background is switched to yellow. The opaque logo bug was removed from all telecasts as well.


For the December 2014 exhibition events, a new graphics package was unveiled. The scoring graphics have a rectangle with a black gradient containing the player's last name with a blue box to the right containing the player's score. Underneath is the box configuration from the previous package, along with the hole number and yardage. A blue drop down is used to display the shot or the distance to the hole. If the player is playing a shot for bogey or worse, the drop down is instead yellow. Notably, no references to either NBC or the tour are used in the graphic, although they have yet to be used on any official PGA Tour events.

It is presently unknown if these new graphics will be applied to other NBC Sports programs, as they are speculated to be an early reveal of a new graphics package for NBC Sports, as the network holds TV rights for the Super Bowl in February 2015, usually when new graphics are revealed.



PGA Tour
PGA Tour - Alternated with CBS on special occasions
European Tour
Majors and special events



See also


  1. ^ 1990 NBC golf credits) on YouTube
  2. ^ Sherman, Ed (27 September 2012). "How the Ryder Cup went from nothing to coveted TV property for NBC". Sherman Report. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chronology of Ryder Cup coverage on American television". Classic Sports TV and Media. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "History of US Open golf TV coverage (1954-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, Mike. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out At Versus In NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 

External links

  • Official website
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