NBC and Golf Channel tee up this week for the 40th Ryder Cup as Europe and the US square off from Scotland. The two channels will offer 85.5 hours of coverage of the event, beginning with Morning Drive at 7a on Golf Channel. The two outlets will offer competitive action on Friday at 2:30a on Golf Channel and running through the final day on NBC, with features that include Golf Channel’s Ryder Cup Alternate Shot, hosted by David Feherty and Gary Williams, which will complement NBC’s live weekend coverage with discussion and analysis of the matches.
Cynopsis Sports asked Molly Solomon, Executive Producer, Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC, about the networks’ approach and what fans can expect from the production.
Solomon on the important of the Ryder Cup: The Ryder Cup is one of the most spectacular events in all of sports and has a special home with Golf Channel and NBC Sports, which combined will provide more than 85 hours of live coverage this week. As we embark on our newly expanded partnership with the PGA of America, Golf Channel’s and NBC’s high-quality coverage will bring fans closer to the action, passion and unique atmosphere surrounding the Ryder Cup like never before. And since this year’s event will mark the first time Golf Channel will have coverage of the Day 1 matches, this is a special moment in the nearly 20-year history of the network.
On challenges/opportunities: Covering an international event, especially one staged outside where sunlight dictates the start and finish time, has its inherent challenges. However, for the first-time from a Ryder Cup hosted in Europe, NBC Sports will be providing live coverage of all three days, and will be streaming coverage via Golf Live Extra and NBC Sports Live Extra. The opportunities are endless, including being able to seamlessly transition on Golf Channel to and from live coverage of matches to our pre- and post-game programming, Live From The Ryder Cup. And with a setting in Scotland where the best golfers in America and Europe square-off in a team match-play event, presenting the Ryder Cup is a unique opportunity in not only golf, but in sports.
On Ryder Cup Alternate Shot: Expect the unexpected especially when you have David Feherty, Lanny Wadkins, David Duval and Justin Leonard together in the studio as they watch the action on Saturday and Sunday. Feherty, who competed for Europe at the 1991 Ryder Cup, the War by the Shore, and now is a proud American citizen is the perfect ringleader for this unique coverage. Alternate Shot is an innovative undertaking for Golf Channel and is aimed to be a complement to NBC’s weekend coverage of the Ryder Cup. The legends I mentioned will be joined via satellite from Scotland by former European Ryder Cup players and captains, who will analyze and breakdown the action. Ryder Cup Alternate Shot will also incorporate social media and our golf simulator, where Lanny and Duval might try to recreate a great shot that just happened or the strategic approaches different teams take on some of the Ryder Cup holes. This all will not only be an in-depth experience for avid Golf Channel viewer, but via Golf Live Extra, can be a second-screen streaming experience for a fan watching Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller call the action on NBC.