US Open fans criticize NBC for Saturday TV coverage


When it comes to watching professional golf tournaments on television, everyone is critical.

That goes double for the majors. On a wild Saturday with a bunched-up rating, Tommy Roy, NBC’s top golf producer, was faced with the difficult task of showing the drama unfold. Where was the local boy Keegan Bradley? Why was the final group, with Collin Morikawa sputtering, ghosted? How many “Playing Through” commercials could we see?

Complaints on social media were plentiful, and we’ll get there, but first you need to dish out a few rounds of applause. Watching the morning broadcast about six hours before the final group left offered some great insight as analyst Arron Oberholser explained the risk-reward challenge of the tee shot in the 18th with help from Justin Leonard in the booth. Some 10 hours later, defending champion Jon Rahm walked into the left fairway bunker that Oberholser warned spectators about and hit the rim on his second shot, eventually double-bogeying and blowing his lead. . If he watched this segment, he was prepared for Rahm’s 18th hole disaster.


Another highlight was a segment with former caddy-turned-analyst John Wood, who took viewers inside the yardage book and explained the ins and outs of how a caddy prepares to help his player that the casual viewer probably didn’t know. No Laying Up also pointed this out on social media.

Wood is also proving to be a good foot soldier and helped viewers understand how on a breezy day the track was turning into a fast and steady test that led to soaring scores in the afternoon.

“I’m 220 yards from this green and I could hear the ball bounce like I was standing next to it,” he said. “These [greens] They are asserting themselves.”

Another highlight: the 4D replays. It’s sponsored content, but these images are a significant update from the days of CBS’s Peter Kostis and Minolta Biz Hub Swing Vision, though any day would take Kostis breaking down swings on NBC’s Paul Azinger. It feels like swing nerds could really learn something by watching the best players in the world through this technology.

Alright, I promised a roundup of some of the broadcast’s most scathing reviews on social media and the reactions were fast and furious in real time. Golf News Net’s Ryan Ballengee summed up the discord between fans and the viewing experience in a nutshell in his tweet.

I’m going to take a gamble here, but I’m pretty sure the “market research” deepfriedegg is referring to below doesn’t exist.

There were several complaints that various players entered the witness protection program during the broadcast at times and weren’t seen for long periods, including this tweet from Josh Babbitt, wondering what happened to Bradley.

This tweet from DJ Piehowski of No Laying Up made me laugh. NBC likes to promote how it shows each player on the field because if they earned a spot on the field, they deserve to be shown. Piehowski made fun of too many commercials (in his defense, NBC is shelling out a lot of money on rights fees and they have to pay the bills) and I can confirm that Mike Tirico didn’t actually say this…but oh yeah he did. made!

No Laying Up could be accused of racking up multiple tweets, but that doesn’t mean the takes are wrong.

Last but not least, Geoff Shackelford couldn’t help but point out that the ads didn’t slow down as the broadcast climaxed.

The good news is that Golf Twitter can breathe a sigh of relief: the final hour of Sunday’s broadcast is commercial-free thanks to the good folks at Rolex. There’s still one more round to go and with a tight, star-studded leaderboard, we’re bound for drama on Sunday. And maybe free golf: every championship held at The Country Club has gone to a playoff. Catch the final round beginning at 9 am ET on Peacock, switching to USA Network at 10 and finally to NBC at 12 ET. Let’s have a day.