NBC Sports, Sky Sports Outline 150 Hours of Coverage for THE PLAYERS Championship
NBC Sports Group and Sky Sports will each offer the most coverage ever for THE PLAYERS Championship, taking place next week (March 11-17), at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Being staged in March for the first time since 2006 as part of the newly enhanced golf calendar in 2019, the PGA TOUR’s flagship event will include 22 live hours of tournament coverage across GOLF Channel and NBC. NBC Sports’ week-long coverage also will include collaborations with Sky Sports Golf, which will re-brand itself as “Sky Sports: THE PLAYERS” for the duration of the Championship. In total, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 150 hours to live programming surrounding THE PLAYERS.
“The return of THE PLAYERS to March helps improve the rhythm of the golf calendar with six straight months of six championship events,” said Mike McCarley, president, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “The collaboration between Sky Sports and NBC Sports will help us both better serve the sports fan by providing more in-depth coverage of THE PLAYERS than ever before. Together with Sky, we’re able to enhance the fan’s viewing experience surrounding THE PLAYERS and elevate the collective coverage in both the U.S. and Europe.”
“THE PLAYERS Championship is one of the highlights of the year for the UK golf fan,” says Jason Wessely, head of Sky Sports Golf. “The exciting content collaboration between NBC Sports and Sky will allow our customers to get closer to the action at TPC Sawgrass than ever before.”
Live tournament coverage will be complemented by more than 60 live hours of comprehensive news, analysis and features within Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive; nearly 45 hours of PGA TOUR LIVE coverage on NBC Sports Gold; and more than 20 live hours of THE PLAYERS “Launch Pad” coverage on DirecTV.
“SKY SPORTS: THE PLAYERS” & NBC SPORTS COLLABORATIONS: Following Comcast’s acquisition of Sky last year, NBC Sports Group and Sky Sports will employ their most extensive production collaborate to-date, led by Sky Sports Golf airing nearly 25 hours of live simulcast coverage of Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS. Other collaboration efforts include:
- Sky Sports Golf’s On The Range will simulcast on GOLF Channel at 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 13.
- Sky Sports’ analyst Paul McGinley joining Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS during the course of the week, in addition to plans for GOLF Channel analysts to join Sky Sports Golf.
- Sky Sports Golf will air GOLF Channel’s signature instruction series School of Golf, featuring a special edition produced on-site at TPC Sawgrass.
- Sky Sports Golf will integrate several of the high-quality features appearing within Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS coverage.
- NBC Sports and Sky Sports also will collaborate on content sharing across the networks’ respective digital platforms and social media handles, including dedicated social content with GOLF Channel’s Conor Moore/Alexandra O’Laughlin and Sky Sports’ Ali Stafford.
LIVE TOURNAMENT COVERAGE PLANS: NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live tournament team will unveil a new graphics package customized specifically for THE PLAYERS, featuring the Championship’s signature blue, gold, and white color scheme. Coverage also will implement new original theme music for the event, along with several popular NBC Sports’ production enhancements viewers are accustomed to seeing at TPC Sawgrass, including:
- Eight high-definition cameras covering every conceivable angle of the par-3, 17th hole, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the tiny bunker fronting the green.
- The cable-suspended “FlyCam” system, providing unique vantage points through an ability to fly over the body of water between the par-5, 16th and 17th hole greens.
- A camera crane positioned 150 feet in the air offering aerial views of Holes 16-18, and one on the island adjacent to the 17th green, capturing reactions of those playing No. 17.
- Wind-direction technology to track conditions throughout the golf course.
- Toptracer technology capability on all 18 holes, including a reverse-flight angle for tracking tee shots from behind the 17th green.
- Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive also will make use of Toptracer technology on TPC Sawgrass’ practice range, tracking the ball flight of those in the field ahead of their round.
VANTAGE POINT WITH MIKE TIRICO RETURNS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13:
Complementing the network’s Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS, Vantage Point with Mike Tirico debuts for the first time at THE PLAYERS, premiering on Wednesday, March 13 at 9 p.m. ET on GOLF Channel. Originating from TPC Sawgrass, Vantage Point will include an exclusive interview with PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan; a roundtable discussion with the sport’s top analysts: Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger; along with stories relevant to THE PLAYERS. Tirico also will serve as host of the network’s live tournament coverage Thursday-Sunday.
PGA TOUR LIVE ON NBC SPORTS GOLD: More than 20 hours of PGA TOUR LIVE coverage on NBC Sports Gold will complement NBC Sports’ traditional live tournament coverage at TPC Sawgrass, with early-round Featured Groups action on PGA TOUR LIVE preceding live coverage on GOLF Channel and NBC.
“LAUNCHPAD” COVERAGE ON DIRECTV: In addition to live tournament coverage on GOLF Channel and NBC, GOLF Channel for the third consecutive year will contribute to DirecTV’s “Launch Pad,” with four dedicated channels of coverage from TPC Sawgrass Thursday-Sunday. GOLF Channel’s George Savaricas, Craig Perks (2002 PLAYERS champion), and Jim Gallagher Jr. will anchor “Launch Pad” coverage, with the four feeds encompassing: Network Simulcast, Featured Group, Launch Pad and Shotlink powered by CDW.
INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMING: GOLF Channel will produce international news programming surrounding THE PLAYERS in both Japanese and Mandarin, featuring reports and custom content throughout the week. These productions will complement the international distribution of Golf Central Live From THE PLAYERS, which is distributed to markets within GOLF Channel’s worldwide footprint of nearly 500 million viewers in more than 70 countries and nine languages around the world.