Devil Ball Golf - Golf

So you're all set to blow off work and watch the end of the rain-delayed RBC Canadian Open, you flip on the Golf Channel, and you find ... infomercials? They're only showing the final holes?

What? WHAT? Who's responsible for this? Heads will roll!

Hang on. This isn't some Heidi-esque travesty of broadcast justice; the fact that The Golf Channel isn't showing the Open finale in its entirety is because it fell into the thicket of obligations and contracts that govern broadcasting tournaments. Had this been a major, you can bet the broadcast networks would have moved heaven and earth to show it all live, but since it's not, well ...

Anyway, here's the story. I spoke to the PR folks at The Golf Channel, and they get two hours of "handoff" coverage from CBS Sports and the Tour in the event of overflow events like this one -- rainouts that push the event outside its typical broadcast window. CBS is obligated to provide two hours of coverage; one would assume that any other partner would bear the cost of telecasting anything over and above that two-hour window.

From there, it becomes a matter of simple economics. The Golf Channel presumably has the option to shell out the cash to show the final round of a, uh ... let's just call it a "non-major" tournament without Tiger or Phil during the workday on a Monday, or show an infomercial for which it will make money. (Golf Channel officials had no estimate for what it would cost to broadcast the entire round.)

So there you go. With all apologies to Retief Goosen, Nathan Green and the RBC Canadian, without the star power and its attendant cashflow, there's not the incentive to broadcast the entire tournament. I know, I know, that's not good for the state of golf, but that's where we're at now with the game.

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