Hosel Rockets

Eye on CBS (an intervention)

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Televising golf is inherently difficult. Eighteen new holes every week spread out over 150ish acres, each its own veritable arena with evolving weather conditions, variable topography, and different sunlight orientation. There’s a technology element – dozens of cameras and microphones, miles of cabling, satellite trucks, elevated mini-studios spread out across the course, graphics packages – a nerve system serving up dozens of feeds into a nerve center with a lead producer calling the shots. There’s a people element – a different tournament director, charity and corporate title sponsor at each stop, all of whom require back scratching. I’d imagine the most challenging part is the competition itself. 150 players, scattered about. All said, it’s a lot to handle and I don’t pretend to be an expert or intend to be an armchair quarterback. But at this point the entire golf world is simultaneously realizing that CBS golf telecasts have devolved into unmitigated dogshit over the last two seasons.

The history of golf on CBS is probably worthy of it’s own book, but here’s a quick synopsis. In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s the PGA Tour was still a relatively nascent traveling roadshow and needed stars. Frank Chirkinian, aka “The Ayatollah,” became the executive producer for CBS’ telecasts, identifying and oftentimes creating those stars. CBS was the gatekeeper, deciding which players fans saw and what the narrative was. Meanwhile fans knew most of what they knew about professional golfers from the weekend telecasts. Chirkinian led Golf on CBS from 1959 to 1996 and by all accounts he was brilliant (his cameo in Tin Cup was insightful). The guy was a pioneer; blimp shots, microphones scattered around the course, diverse camera angles, a propensity for showing as many golf shots as possible, the blueprint for the televised masterpiece that is The Masters – that was all Chirkinian. Most importantly, he understood this: “Bob Jones once told me, ‘Frank, the more golf you show, the better your product is.” CBS had a responsibility to the game, and under Chirkininan’s leadership they lived up to the task. He retired in 1996 and longtime CBS employee Lance Barrow took the reins at the auspicious outset of the 1997 season. Barrow cut his teeth as executive producer during the halcyon days of the Big Cat Era. Tiger was the narrative, the messiah (insert hilarious Earl clip), the second most famous athlete on the planet after MJ. With ratings skyrocketing, the demographic skewing younger and younger, and Corporate America jonesing for a piece of the action, all Barrow had to do was focus on Tiger (the rest of the field be damned), keep the telecasts between the mayonnaise and the mustard, and not piss off the members at August National.

Basically, autopilot.

The warning signs began manifesting themselves a few years ago when Big Cat missed The Masters for the first time and the telecast seemed a little lost. The rest of the season suffered with Cat fighting injuries and eventually shutting it down. The issues escalated during the West Coast Swing in 2015 – with a steadfast refusal to show up-and-coming stars in the hunt (see: Koepka at Phoenix) and the Pebble Pro-Am unwatchable. Around this same time NBC’s telecasts improved, showing more live golf in stark contrast to CBS whilst mixing in oodles of ProTracer and even some decent feature pieces (Josh Elliott’s impassioned Mother’s Day monologue at The Players notwithstanding). Then the PGA Championship happened, coverage was panned,  even the casual golf fan was disillusioned, and Soly nearly passed out from beating the Koepka drum so hard.

 

Any hope that CBS would heed some of the criticism, take a look in the mirror and make the requisite changes for the 2016 season was quickly dashed when they butchered coverage of Torrey Pines. The next week saw a respite with NBC taking over duties while CBS was busy getting crushed for crappy Super Bowl coverage. CBS took over again for the annual atrocity at Pebble Beach. That telecast is perennially the worst on the entire schedule – B-list celebs, to the 2:30-3 coverage gap hitting three of the most famous holes in the world, to the lack of actual golf shown (at several points there were more professional golf shots at Pebble shown on the PGA Tour’s twitter account than on CBS). It’s essentially a B-list celebrity orgy. This sums it up:

Which brings us to Riviera for one of the BSD tourneys on the schedule, being played in the midst of a vitriolic Twitter mob converging on CBS. Figured this was a good opportunity to take a closer look at yesterday’s coverage of the Northern Trust Open to see if the frustration is warranted or if this is all overblown. Here’s something to consider as we dive into the 175 minute telecast: CBS presented 184 live or semi-live golf shots, between 90 and 95 commercials (depending upon your local affiliate), and a mind-numbing amount of fluff in between. I don’t pretend to know how these commercial metrics measure up with a typical NBC telecast, but the fact that we’ve never really noticed suggests that’s not an issue on the Peacock. I do know that 184 shots is not a lot, AT ALL. Also, if these issues were new I’d be inclined to give CBS a pass. But the reality is that these trends have always been present, and people haven’t wised up until now because we’ve just gotten used to it. CBS with the long con!

Some ground rules for how I tallied everything:

  • I was generous, considering everything outside of 1-foot tap-in a “golf shot.”
  • The slow-mo “SwingVision” stuff doesn’t count as a shot.
  • Jim Nantz rattling off sponsors after commercial breaks count toward commercial time, but not commercials. Same deal with shots of the “MetLife Snoopy Two” blimp

Let’s dive in:

  • 2:30pm – Golf Channel coverage ceases and the dreaded coverage gap starts. Ostensibly the thirty minute gap is to allow the production crew to switch over to the CBS graphics package. Whatever, it’s 2016. Figure it out.
  • 3:00pm – CBS coverage is slated to start, but as happens every week a terrible college basketball game is running over the allotted time. At 3pm there is 2:22 left in the game and the score is 92-62. Not even a degenerate gambler would’ve been interested. We’re told that coverage is available on PGATour.com.
  • 3:05pm – The basketball mercifully ends. We’re in the clear. Actually, nope. CBS runs NINE commercials and then we’re treated to a CBS Sports Desk. Thanks for the scores guys, I don’t have the internet.
  • 3:10pm – After five wasted minutes, golf coverage starts, sort of. We’re treated to four and a half minutes of golf during which eight live(ish) shots are shown. By this time every group has played 10. Nantz makes sure to mention that 10 is one of the best holes on tour, and he’s right. But then they proceed to not show Bubba’s tee shot on said hole. In all, we see just four tee shots on 10.
  • Next we get the typical intro montage package, then one Adam Scott putt, then Nantz does the “Hello friends” routine (he actually “Hello friends the viewers at home and then greets Faldo with a “Hello friend” – crazy double dip!). At this point we’re essentially 13 minutes deep into coverage and have witnessed nine shots, six of which were putts. Imagine tuning into any other sport and missing pivotal live action due to sponsor promos, self-serving commentary and highlights of stuff that we missed. What glorious madness!
  • 3:18pm – Interspersed with a 22 second Gary McCord critique of Chez Reavie’s technique for cleaning out his golf spikes we’re afforded sixteen minutes of live coverage and 24 shots. Now we’re cooking, maybe CBS heard our desperate pleas! At one point they show a clip from earlier in the week of the players hitting shots with clubs from different eras (persimmon woods, etc.). Missed opportunity to show how far they’re hitting them, maybe get some quick feedback from the guys on how the clubs felt. Instead we just get cliche fluff.
  • After that nice burst of golf we’re treated to five commercial breaks spanning fourteen and a half minutes (totaling 30 commercials) with just fourteen and a half minutes of golf coverage mixed in (featuring 23 shots). But hey, I am getting a freaking education on the epic side effects of OPDIVO, which treats something called squamous non small cell cancer which I’d never heard of until the 2016 PGA Tour season. According to the commercials, “OPDIVO can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in many areas of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become serious or life-threatening and can lead to death” among a multitude of other side effects (What a list!!!!) I’m starting to think CBS golf coverage carries similar risks.
  • After 29 minutes of hell, the broadcast team realizes they’re losing the locker room and we get 23.5 minutes of golf (37 shots) with just one commercial break in between. Thank you! And kudos to the broadcast team for an expansive discussion of “sticky grass” (I’m being serious, that was good stuff). Seeing quite a few Farmers Insurance commercials – I sense a golden sponsorship opportunity insuring Ted Scott “against almost anything, since they’ve seen almost everything.”
  • Will it continue? Nope. Time to pay the piper with a 31 minute span offering up 15 minutes of commercials (six breaks plus a de facto break with Nantz pimping a promo for Sunday rodeo coverage and then rubbing the Michigan/Maryland basketball game in our faces…you know, the one that is guaranteed to delay Sunday golf) and 16.5 minutes of golf. 29 commercials, 34 shots. Incredible. Coverage wouldn’t be complete with 10-20 seconds of music fading in and out of commercial breaks, with some prime long shots of sailboats, the Santa Monica pier, etc. Gotta establish those SoCal #vibes though.
  • It’s now just after 5pm and the leaders are in the thick of competition. Lance Barrow decides we’ve earned a nice 20 minute stretch featuring 18 minutes of golf (32 shots) and just 2.5 minutes of commercials. Rory buries a putt and we have the first real drama of the day. The crowd is into it. We’re treated to leaderboards/music at every turn. No reason to present this info in a box in a corner of the screen when you can cut away from the action, take up the entire screen, and play some music. It’s a no-brainer!
  • Fun’s over. As we enter what should be the meat of the golf (5:20pm-ish) we get about 18 minutes of golf (25 shots), 6 minutes of commercials (12 ads), 1 minute of a CBS News Update, a 2 minute charity interview with Amy Alcott. At this point, I’m watching on mute because I simply can’t handle the music anymore. Lance Barrow and the squad need to go to rehab for how addicted they are to the smooth composition of Helmut von Lichten. They use it at every opportunity, sometimes just to fake us out and think they’re going to go to commercial break when they’re really not. It’s mind-numbing. And the Taylor Made commercial being foisted upon us are actually already outdated, as they’ve already released four new drivers since they filmed this spot, including the new M6. By the way, crazy good up and downs by Bubba and DJ on 18.
  • The final group ambles up to the 18th green and finishes seven minutes early at 5:53pm. CBS uses the extra time to show 4 and a half minutes of commercials (including Nantz pimping the PBR Rodeo series “Bucking Battle” and rubbing tomorrow’s basketball game that will run beyond 3pm right in our faces) and 90 seconds of Nantz and Faldo yucking it up (although a nice shout-out to former colleague Peter Oosterhuis who is sorely missed during coverage). Somehow they only conduct one post-round interview, and that “interview” was only one question posed to Bubba. Who needs Feherty when Dottie’s really providing the goods (to be fair I did appreciate her college golf feature near the start of coverage).

Other observations:

  • A few issues with regard to technology: No effort made to show the design of the golf course. Flyovers, explanations, some way to show elevation changes, nothing. NBC often uses technology to show the slopes of each green (and does so without interrupting the action) – would be a cool feature on a classic course like this with, ya know, severe greens. Also very limited use of ProTracer. I get the sense that they’re on a budget and skimping hard. All of this is particularly ironic considering this Q&A with Mr. Barrow.
  • Don’t recall hearing any caddie-player convos. Shame.
  • At least half the top twenty players on the leaderboard did not have a single shot shown on television.
  • It’s unbelievable how many PGA Tour produced commercials there are. We’re already watching your tournament,  let the action speak for itself instead of putting together some splashy commercial that everyone resents after the third or fourth week of it airing.
  • I’m convinced at least 20% of the shots are canned, most of which aren’t mentioned as such.
  • I enjoy Peter Kostis – I get the sense that he knows the coverage is crap and is more or less stuck. That’s probably true for a lot of people working on the telecast,t; professionals who follow orders.
  • Glad Feherty escaped.

Frank Chirkinian passed away in 2011 at 84 years old. His New York Times obituary offered the following (insert link):

“I showed lots and lots of golfers and lots and lots of golf shots,” he told Sports Illustrated in 1995, “and I try never to subordinate the event to my ego. When I die, I want my epitaph to read, ‘He stayed out of the way.’

Quit pissing on his legacy with each passing week.

 

About the Author

Tron Carter – NLU’s resident curmudgeon, wannabe media critic, fashion crusader, and arbiter of all things “pop.” Passionate proponent of taking driver off the deck. Native of Atlanta, now residing in Jacksonville Beach after two quick, but beneficial years in Boston. Other interests include history, infrastructure, wine, and Michael Bay’s seminal masterpiece The Rock. Also doing business as “Todd Schuster.” [email protected]

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  • This, THIS is an article that needed to be written. The fact that there is a coverage gap (in the age of the Internet) is just the first of many head scratching decisions for the hard core golf fan. All the commercials, the Nick & Gym spots, etc. I think does nothing to draw in casual golf fans/viewers to the game and the hard core fans are left to try and enjoy truncated coverage. Contrast all of this with Sirius/XM’s “radio” coverage or NBC/Golf Channel’s coverage and you can see what could be or heck even at the Masters with the streaming options and the restriction on commercials.

    I would pay cash money on the barrelhead to have a streaming service that delivers me golf and cuts the ads down to the bare minimum where I can follow the main coverage, featured groups, or whoever I want on ALL 4 days and without having to remember my cable password to link up with the PGA/network’s streaming platform. Give me the Masters coverage for every tourney and I would HAPPILY pay for it so I don’t have to deal with the networks getting in the way of golf.

    • Wayne Manko

      Luckinly the PGA Tour Live app is available, and all the Majors have all the online channels you want or if you have DIrect you get all the added chanels during them and other events. Watch the BBC coverage of the Open if you have Direct, it is fantastic.

  • Nathan

    Tron spitting hot fire. CBS Golf should be working at the snack bar. Thank God the next 6 weeks are on NBC. Bring on the small buckets Johnny.

  • Wheatgolf

    Spot on Tron. Craziest of all is that this is coverage of the third round. I hoped beyond hope that the final round coverage would be better, trying to show more golf with less commercial breaks or, at least, more live/semi-live shots. But the coverage of the final round was the same AT BEST.

    What you said about narratives is spot on. I think the main difference between NBC and CBS in their coverage is that that CBS’ coverage is only good when the action fits into the narrative they want (which, in golf, rarely happens unless you’re in the Tiger era). NBC does this to a much lesser extent. Their coverage seems able to adapt and change to whatever narrative is presented to them on that day or during the tournament.

    Also, not using Protracer off of every tee at Riviera is a crime. Who cares about tracing a drive on the football field size fairways of Kapalua or Torrey Pines. Watching the shot shape and trajectory of Bubba (I know, I’m sorry), DJ, Rory, Jason Coatrack or anyone else for that matter hitting through the tree-lined fairways of Riviera would have been incredibly compelling TV. Instead we get the typical and out-of-date “hit, follow and roll” camera shots with IBF or Kostis saying how hard it is to hit that fairway when, instead, we could actually watch how hard it is to hit the fairway.

    I’m with you ReGripped, give me a subscription based way of watching four days of golf by a coverage team who is permitted to talk about golf. I’ll pay the extra to no have to listen to Gym Pants wax eloquent about Sir Nick’s workout routine while real golf is being played.

  • Wayne Manko

    Fantastic write up, I’ve been saying this the last 2-3 years. They are lost without being able to focus on Tiger and the game is full of fantastic young players that are getting the shaft because of the terrible coverage. The Masters saves us because they dictate the coverage so we get lots of golf, and not much crap. I hope the right the ship fast because if not, they are going to sink quickly. Peter Alyss was so good at just not saying anything and letting the picture tell the story, occasionally giving his insight or thoughts on what was happening. It works, great golfers, awesome courses, stay out of the way.

  • Matt

    Right on!!! CBS pails in comparison to Golf Channel early coverage. I prefer to DVR the CBS telecast and fast forward through all the advertisements and fluff. Saves time and eliminates a majority of the frustrations, plus I feel like i am in control, non Jim Nantz. An hour delay is sufficient, but the only drawback is having to hold off on checking your Twitter feed. I do enjoy Dottie. She brings valuable insight on the course. Great article.

  • ScottishGolferBlog

    Could not agree more with this article. I live in the UK so we get a 2nd hand feed of US events through Sky Sports. Not only do we get the crap CBS coverage but also studio updates from the Sky Team, who seem to take pride in how boring thier presenters are! I tried to watch the back nine at Riv last night but just couldn’t do it. When you come back from a break to watch a pro: line up a putt, miss the putt, mark his ball, stand greenside waiting on his turn before finishing. Then it cuts to the leaderboard then another ad break. Why do they not cut away to someone hitting a full shot, there are dozens of other players on the course who are all world class ball strikers, why not just show them hitting golf shots!!!

  • Bill

    Easy to complain. Your article, while probably true, was more verbose than Nantz and Faldo after a couple Brandy Alexanders.

    You do have the option to not watch.

    • Rich

      The thing is, we love golf and want to watch it! This was a very constructive and well documented critique of their coverage, and shows just how little golf they show now, which wasn’t always the case. It’s always amazing to me how few shots they show from players who are near the lead, especially if they’re not the really big names. But they even barely showed any of Adam Scott on Saturday, and he’s one of the marquee guys in the game, and he was right up near the top of the leaderboard. Personally, I could never watch a CBS telecast without a DVR

  • John P

    Great article. Really noticeable when SKY (I live in UK) have to take the CBS feed – just awful coverage compared to SKY’s own – and thank heavens they’ve got The Open Championship this year so it wont feel like 1982 anymore!

    Generally guys, NLU is just what Golf needs, brilliant work.

    I hit the range this morning, ball striking so so but my toursource is already in fine mid-season form

  • John

    They should fact check what they say as well. Ian Baker Finch said Bubba Watson’s apex of 136 ft was as high as it gets. If you look up apex heights on pgatour.com, there are a few players with a maximum apex of almost 170 feet.

  • Alex

    So what do you think the reaction would be by the Green Jackets if CBS tried to put on this type of broadcast in April???

  • Matt

    Hey NLU – great article!

    Am I the only one to notice that even TGC seems to start coverage very late each day. I’m on the west coast and during the west coast swing was hoping to have decent real time coverage but was disappointed. It’s as if they wait until the last group has already been on the course for a few hours so they can mix the whole day into the shortest amount of coverage possible and leave plenty of time for commercials. Each day’s coverage appears more like a Morning Drive synopsis than “live coverage.” Hard to imagine why a 24 hour golf channel based in the U.S. has higher priorities for programming than the PGA Tour. I think you hit on the central issue of making “stars.” I can only assume that the advertising has lost value with all the doom and gloom talk about golf. Network execs: trust the product and get out of the way. THESE GUYS ARE GOOD. Remember !?!

  • Tony Dear

    Great observations. Ironically CBS’s coverage is getting worse as Nick Faldo gets better and better. He was a nightmare to listen to a few years back, but I think he’s become really good. I don’t mind the gym stuff. It’s quite useful, as long as it doesn’t prevent showing relevant action.

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  • Birdy

    very well written and 100% accurate.

    DVR is an absolute must while watching golf nowadays….and your finger will be glued to the FF button throughout the non stop commericals and lame interviews.

    Show more SHOTS!!! and that doesn’t mean leaders 2 ft tap ins.

    Having said all that, there is still a major gripe i have. How we still have the beyond pointless camera angles of ball with sky in background flying through the air and the top down view of greens. Get creative….heck, just set a stationary camera behind the green. I don’t need to see the ball against sky. i don’t want the zoomed in view of ball rolling against the green. I want to see players hit shot, see their reactions throughout ball flight, and zoomed out view of putts dropping so that we see crowd reaction.

  • Ben

    Great article. In addition to your above more important points, it’s a crime that there’s not protracer on every hole and a microphone in every cup.

    • DaleBob

      Ben, I don’t know about the mikes in every cup. I used to work on the grounds crew during the old Legends of Golf tournament at Onion Creek in Austin. NBC had mikes in the cups on the “TV” holes and they couldn’t turn them on live because every other word out of the legends’ mouths was not fit for TV.

  • Andrew

    In a way, the money in golf has almost gotten too big. All the extra commercials from all the sponsors who want their turn. All the CEOs and VIPs who get the 2-3 minute interview in the booth eating up time? They want their share of air time. The CBS Sports Desk that delays coverage by 5 minutes? Sponsored. All the segments that interrupt golf like that swing vision cam thing? Sponsored. That meaningless FedEx Cup update segment? FedEx is paying for that time.

    CBS has butchered this by apparently going for quantity over quality for advertising. They need to introduce scarcity into the market. Less advertisers overall, paying more for what should be more valuable real estate on the airwaves. Sadly, I’m not sure how this problem is fixable. Only Augusta National seems to have figured this out.

  • Bernie

    A great piece but unfortunately Geoff Shackelford used it on his site to show how great his NBC/GC network is compared to CBS which is his competition. Basically he used your words to make himself look good. I doubt that was your intention when you wrote it, but that’s the way Shackelford see things. You made his day!

  • Peter McAlpine

    I’ve said it before – NOBODY does angry and eloquent like TRON! The last time I saw him this angry was that time when one of the cast broke one of Vanderpump’s rules, ffs!

    In fact, the only thing better than Tron’s thunderously deft touch on the keyboard (think Shakespeare meets Loupe), is his golf swing, which features a top position of none-other-than Dustin J Gretzky! I’m not making this up sports fans!

    But I regress.

    The coverage was a gong show. Fortunately, as I’m overseas, I was spared most/all of the ads, but had to suffer through the rest.

    At one point I was so angry I picked up one my pancakes and hurled it at the TV! Luckily it stuck to the screen right over Sir Faldo’s face, so no regrets.

    CBS, et al – do Euro Tour style coverage:

    – Only cut away from the golf to do a tight shot on a smoking babe’s cleavage/ camel toe.

    – Say things like “Aphibarnrat is an unhappy barn rat” (actually said by a Euro analyst)

    – More features on how Bruce Jenner’s TRANSformation is affecting her golf game (very optional)

    Keep up the good work #TeamNLU, continue being the future of modern golf journalism, and please, citizens, do NOT LAY UP!

    GOD BLESS/DAMN YOU ALL 😉

  • Chad

    When can we expect PGA Tour Live App to take over for CBS they have done golf for like half a season and already the best way to watch golf.

  • Bernie

    If you read comments re: Shackelford’s post on your article, some wondered how a blogger can maintain credibility while at the same time working for Golf Channel/NBC, writing for Golf Digest, appearing on Morning Drive and pimping Callaway on the sly. When NBC or Golf Channel pulls a boner is Shackelford going to get all hissy about it in print? I think not. Keep up the good work Tron…love the site!

  • FatGuyGolf

    Great breakdown of CBS’ increasingly painful broadcasts, as every week now seems to creep closer and closer to their historically horrendous Pebble coverage.

    CBS had the perfect formula going back in the mid-90’s, but at the risk of dating myself a bit, I think they’ve been going downhill ever since Venturi left. Faldo rarely comments with conviction, and struggles to transition between analysis and banter, like he’s been over-coached on tossing in bits of his pale British sense of humor. Nance will always be solid, and Baker-Finch is underrated (if occasionally obtuse with filler topics). But the absence of Feherty and Ooosterhuis is palpable. Without Feherty to banter with, McCord suddenly feels like that eclectic uncle who finally turned the corner from oddly fun to creepy (and I’m a fan).

    The commercials (and repetitiveness thereof) have gotten way out of hand. Between all the E.D. and other various symptoms on the Baby-Boomer drug spots, I actually get uncomfortable when I try to get my 8-year-old son to sit still for 10 minutes to watch with me, as I try every way I can to get him into the sport. No way I’m keeping him interested when they got to commercial seemingly every 8 minutes.

    In an era when the Tour is finally managing to work it’s way out of the post-Tigger era with some new stars, CBS (and by association, the Tour) seems to largely fail at painting the personalities of up-and-comers when they jump into the lead.

    And I think we’d all rather watch the drive of a nobody who’s 6 shots back than listen to commentators prattle on while K.J. Choi takes 48 seconds to grind over a 3-footer because he’s 2 shots out of the lead.

    I’d even venture to say CBS is materially responsible for perpetuating the widening generation gap in growing the game, with their coverage feeling stuffy and dated rather than fresh and fun. There’s something to be said for the format and traditions CBS helped develop with The Masters, but it’s beyond time to drag golf coverage into the 21st century. And Fox is off to a rough start to challenge the paradigm.

  • T

    I’m trying very hard to not hate on CBS’s coverage, but after Pebble Beach and Riviera, I just got too frustrated. I always record all golf coverage because I can’t stand commercials, but I ended up completely deleting the final round at Pebble Beach because I was so annoyed with all the celebrity interviews and amateur shots (and to be honest, the only celebrity I cared to see was Justin Timberlake and he didn’t even make the team cut). I ended up following the finish at Pebble on Twitter instead. I’m enjoying Golf Channel’s coverage much more than CBS right now. I also watch a ton of the European Tour and wish CBS’s broadcasts took note of how the European Tour is covered. The commentary is on point (and sometimes unintentionally hilarious) and they do a good job of panning the cameras to get the reaction of the golfer after their shot. They also show a LOT more golfers which is why I probably know of a lot more European golfers now than I do PGA golfers! Several of my friends actually work for CBS and they cover golf. Some of them have no idea who most the PGA golfers are because they are usually only covering the big names or the leaders. I’ve actually had to school some of them on who some of the golfers are when I visit them at tournaments. If that doesn’t say it all, then I don’t know what does…

    • Rich

      RE: Pebble Beach — Saturday is always like that, and I honestly don’t have a problem with that. It is a lot of B List celebs and nobody needs to watch Larry the Cable Guy or Gary Mule Deer (I have to Google that dude every year to remember who he is and why he’s known for anything) swing a golf club (and nobody needs to watch Larry do anything, including his “comedy”), but the list of bigger Hollywood names has actually improved in recent years, and that is one avenue that can get then non-core golf fan to tune in, and that might spark some people to get interested in the game. Sunday, though, they focus almost exclusively on the pros, and the coverage is much better for the serious golf fan (though it’s still CBS, so too much babble and shots of seagulls and surf, and not enough showing of shots).

  • Chad

    I posed this question to Tron on twitter, but would any of CBS announcers make it onto an all-star telecast right now? Assume you need a host/play by play, lead analyst, 2-3 on the ground commentators, 3 towers, 1 interviewer, and one studio host.

    Choices are:
    Host: Dan Hicks, Jim Nantz, Mike Tirico, Rich Lerner or Terry Gannon
    Lead Analyst: ZInger, Strange, Faldo, Miller, Watkins,
    Towers: Ian B-F, McDonough, Nobilo, McCord, Macatee, Koch, Jacobsen, Verne, Alliss?
    Ground: Feherty, Rolfing, Gogel, Begay, Maltbie, North, Kratzert, Rankin, Browne, Pepper, Kostis, Byrum
    Interviews: Roberts, Rinaldi, Wojciechowski
    Studio: SVP, Costas, Reilly

    I think my all star team is Hicks, Strange/Zinger as a package in 18, Verne, Alliss (Nobilo if he doesnt count) and Koch in the towers, Maltbie, North and Byrum on the ground, Wojo interviewing and SVP taking over the studio. Thoughts?

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  • Bernie

    Tron, Soly, NLU crew
    You have been accused of plagiarism! But don’t worry…it’s only Lanny H writing from his padded cell:

    “Was I Robbed, or, It’s All About The Meme: I posted about the horrible L.A. Open coverage (“Anatomy of a Murdered Telecast“) by CBS early Sunday morning. That afternoon, NoLayingUp posted a (poorly-written, but informationally-rich) piece covering the same territory, using some of the same examples and terminology. Hmmm. Was my article recycled, added to, and posted as original work? I don’t know. Newton and Leibniz supposedly developed the calculus independently. (I’ve got dibs on Newton in that scenario!) But here’s the thing: I don’t care. I’ve said it before, and I mean it: It’s all about the meme. I want my ideas to permeate society. My only goal is to spread reality. I don’t care if people take my ideas and run with them; I actually like that. I don’t want a job, and I don’t need the money, so…”

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  • HBeaz15

    Remember the atrocity that was the live coverage of the 2014 Ryder Cup? I woke up at 2 am to watch golf and wound up putting a stop watch to the live/commercial air time. During one hour there was 43 minutes of commercials. This was the worst example of live golf coverage I have seen.

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