September 27, 2010
In a move that will make golf fans shrug their shoulders at Leno over Conan, the National Broadcasting Company, or NBC for short, announced that this Saturday, during the second day of the Ryder Cup, Americans will not be allowed to watch live golf.
Nope, the network that seems to make its decisions wearing a blindfold and tossing dull darts at a random decisions mat, won't give us live golf for 33.33 percent of the Ryder Cup this year, and that my friends, is ridiculous.
On Friday we get live golf. That's because ESPN has the rights to the opening day of play, and will show live golf from 2:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. While the argument could be made that ESPN doesn't have anything else to show at that time on Friday, it still gives us live golf. This is 2010.
NBC won't do that on Saturday. Instead, it will show tape-delayed golf from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. That will change on Sunday, when it decides to show live golf again, showing the singles matches from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.
What does all this mean? Here's what it means: If you are a network that can't find it in your schedule to show a big sporting event live, you should forfeit the rights.
Put it on MSNBC. Or CNBC. Hell, put it on Telemundo or Bravo for all we care. You have the outlets and resources to do so, and a lot of Americans care about this golf event as much as any of the majors. If you aren't going to show this thing live, then at least let ESPN or some other network show it live in the early hours, and you can show the tape delay later in the day.
It's ludicrous, really. As my good friend Chris Chase over at Busted Racquet has had to endure countless times with this network, NBC just doesn't get sports anymore. It bumps things to make room for Notre Dame, which is now 1-3 for the season, and continues to be the NBC of the college-football season (stubborn, confusing and downright putrid).
For every good thing NBC does (like the entertaining blog Out of Bounds), it seems it tosses 10 things in to screw it up.
The Ryder Cup is a special event, and this year could easily be the best one ever. The storylines are too good not to watch live. We have Tiger Woods as a captain's pick, rookies in bunches and a group of American underdogs. We have Colin Montgomerie as a captain, which should produce a good line or two from each day, and Phil Mickelson heading into the event without his "A" game.
All of these things, and we don't get to see "moving day" live on our televisions. NBC should be ashamed. You're not a "national broadcasting company" if most of your big, live sports already happened. That's what VCRs are for.