The Golf Channel Takes Over NBC Golf Coverage Effective This Week

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NBC Sports will begin using The Golf Channel brand on its PGA Tour coverage beginning this weekend.

Starting with this weekend’s coverage of the Accenture Match Play Championship, NBC will “use Golf Channel’s graphics, leaderboard and logos” during its PGA Tour coverage, which will now be called The Golf Channel on NBC (sportsbusinessdaily.com, 2/21/11).

The NBC and Golf Channel logos will appear together in the corner of the screen.

On its face, the move seems to run in contrast to the general trend since the Comcast/NBC merger became official. When it comes to sports, NBC has exerted much more influence than Comcast, with NBC personnel replacing Versus and The Golf Channel executives and on-air personalities.

However, if one looks at the moves from the standpoint of which brands are strongest, there is little inconsistency. The NBC Sports brand is far stronger than anything Comcast had to offer, which explains the heavy NBC influence over Comcast’s sports properties.

But when it comes to golf specifically, The Golf Channel is arguably a stronger brand than NBC Sports. Former NBC exec and current Golf Channel president Mike McCarley to Sports Business Daily: “A lot of NBC Sports has been defined by golf over the years, and to take the Golf Channel brand and put it front and center on NBC is a testament to the brand Golf Channel has become.”

Of course, branding may not be the only issue. It may very well be less expensive and more efficient to have the same on-air look for both NBC and The Golf Channel than to provide two distinct broadcasts.

Though McCarley denied that the move was an “attempt to achieve cost efficiencies,” it would be hard to believe that such a benefit would not have been at least a consideration.

For viewers, the move results in one less unique approach to covering golf. The question becomes whether NBC and The Golf Channel will do a better job by combining forces than they’ve done individually.

(Sports Business Daily)

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  • nosferatu

    Interesting–I wonder if this might have any effect in the future on Golf Channel’s collaborations with CBS, specifically in doing things like re-airing CBS’s broadcasts of 3rd and 4th rounds on the weekend in the evening…something they haven’t done with NBC’s weekend telecasts in the past.

  • Andycast

    This is not unique – have you heard of “ESPN on ABC”???

  • Consultgil

    I’m currently watching the final round play of the WGC Cadalac Championship and was dimayed to see that rather than follow the leaders on the course you chose to show footage of Tiger Woods driving his car down the freeway after withdrawing from the tournament.  I would much prefer to watch the golfers rather than concern myself with Tiger’s driving habits. I feel FAR too much attention is being paid to Tiger as opposed to the current group of young aspiring golfers.

  • Ppooff

    Stop showing Tiger with his arrogant fist pump-he is noth the most important
    Golfer in the World

    • Paulsen

       The ratings say otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aurafeeche Jim Orefice

    NBC has without out a doubt the worst sports coverage around. We have to put up with their incompetence throughout the US open, the Rugby Sevens and soon the 2012 Olympics.  Gag, Talk, talk, talk is all they do. No decent coverage, no explanations, no tutorials. Watched over an hour of their coverage of the open today not one shot of guys playing golf. All talk.

  • Katt

    Please take Johnnie Miller OFF!!!!!!  He is the most discusting commentator of all time.  He is rude, inconsiderate & has no tact.  He brutally criticizes the golfers.  Other commentators can make critical remarks but with finesse.  He has no “soft” skills.  Maybe he’s just plain ignorant of such things. I love watching golf but can’t stand Johnnie Miller commenting on it. GET RID OF HIM.  I’ve actually muted the voice just to get rid of his talk.

  • Bmoran

    I think j miller is one of the best golf commentators on the sport.  He has forgotten more about golf than most of his peers and calls it like he sees it