Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coverage Review for NBC Sports

Admittedly, NBC is not my top network for golf coverage. But, they also don't do a bad job. They're just not my favorite. This week, though, I thought they gave a real half-ass effort in the production of their coverage from Interlachen.

First, you can tell from the get go how important this event was not to NBC Sports. Dan Hicks, the usual golf anchor, was no where to be found. In fairness, though, he is anchoring NBC's coverage of the Olympic trials this evening and they paid a lot of money to broadcast the Olympics. Mark Rolfing performed anchor duties. Rolfing is a good reporter and did a nice job, but has very little gravitas and certainly not a lot of experience in controlling a telecast from on camera. He did handle the duo of Dottie Pepper and Johnny Miller fairly well, though.

Speaking of the dual color commentator approach, I think that NBC may have been going for some Faldo-Zinger magic with pairing Miller and Pepper in the booth. On multiple occasions that I noticed, Pepper had to correct or just outright disagree with something Johnny Miller threw out on air. He seemed fairly lazy in his preparation and on camera looked like he was just collecting a paycheck. Either that or he was extremely uncomfortable with covering women's golf. If you're going to not have Dan Hicks, you may as well not have Johnny Miller either. Make Rolfing-Pepper the booth for LPGA coverage and I would be pleased.

Nice to see Jennifer Mills is still in the media world, but I think she struggled with interviews. Some of the questions that she asked and the flow of interviews with players just appeared awkward to me. Perhaps it is because it has been a while and she is normally in an anchor position (from her days at the Golf Channel). Contrast her interviews with the one that Gary Koch had with In-Bee Park after the win, and you'll know what I mean.

Overall, I'd give NBC a mark of B- for their effort this week. It just seemed obvious throughout the whole presentation that this was a nonchalant effort just to fulfill contractual duties.

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