I was really surprised when I sat down on Thursday night to turn the television on to start watching the golf to find it was no where to be seen. I thought Sky had made a massive mistake and forgot to put it on their coverage. Only after googling whats going on I found out that the BBC where showing it.
At first my disappointment was huge knowing what a good job Sky do of making golf entertaining and engaging to the viewers. All my clients I have coached over the last few days all resonated the same message. The BBC coverage was absolutely shocking. Watching it on the red button without HD was awful. The shots were shown out of order and there choice of commentators is so out of touch where golf is going. I found it frustrating that the BBC have failed to recognise this and kept with their old ways.
The trouble is Sky have raised the bar so high in golf broadcasting so in comparison to the BBC where they made no effort what so ever, the difference was vast. However, after doing some more googling, I can however see some positives in the US PGA being shown on terrestrial television. I read that the US PGA decided not to renew the contract with Sky favouring a new approach of online streaming and other media outlets. Now if this was done for the good of game knowing the out reach was be vast in comparison then thats something positive. Talking to a client of mine who in golf broadcasting, he informed me the viewing figures could be as much as 6 to 8 times greater being aired on terrestrial television.
So I am left divided on it. On one hand it is good getting golf out there to the masses so more people can enjoy the spectacle of a major championship but I still feel whoever is given the right to broadcast it should be forced into making their coverage more engaging to a wider audience.
Brendan Howell, PGA Golf Professional.