via press release:

NBC SPORTS GROUP TO AIR 28 HOURS OF LIVE COVERAGE OF WGC-ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP ON NBC & GOLF CHANNEL
NBC Sports to Re-Brand Golf Coverage as ‘Golf Channel on NBC’

Golf television event State of the Game Live with Johnny Miller & Nick Faldo to air Friday night on Golf Channel

“One of the most exciting days on television because nobody likes to go home.” – Golf Channel’s Nick Faldo on WGC-Accenture’s first day featuring the world’s top 64 players in match play

NEW YORK – February 22, 2011 – NBC Sports and Golf Channel will christen their new association by providing golf fans with a new on-air look, a special television event this Friday night titled State of the Game Live, and more than 55 hours of coverage, including 28 live hours, from the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship from Tucson, Ariz. It is the first shared coverage for NBC Sports and Golf Channel since both organizations became members of the NBC Sports Group on Jan. 28 when the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed.

In addition to live coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Golf Channel will replay 18 total hours of the tournament in prime time throughout the week. The network’s new morning show, Morning Drive, will have additional, live airings for 60 minutes leading into Wednesday’s coverage and 30 minutes each leading into Thursday and Friday’s coverage. Its signature news program, Golf Central, will wrap live tournament coverage all week. In all, NBC Sports Group will exceed 55 hours of coverage for WGC-Accenture.

NBC Sports Group Television Schedule for World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship (not including prime time replays):

Wednesday
Morning Drive Special 10-11 a.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central Pregame 11 a.m.-Noon ET Golf Channel

First Round Noon-6 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central 6-7:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Thursday
Morning Drive Special 1-1:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central Pregame 1:30-2 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Second Round 2-6 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central 6-6:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Friday
Morning Drive Special 1-1:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central Pregame 1:30-2 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Third Round 2-6 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central 6-6:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

State of the Game Live 8:30-9 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Saturday
(Quarterfinals) Noon-2 p.m. ET Golf Channel

(Quarterfinals) 2-6 p.m. ET NBC

Golf Central 6-6:30 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Sunday
(Semifinals) 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Golf Central Pregame 1-2 p.m. ET Golf Channel

(Finals) 2-6 p.m. ET NBC

Golf Central 6-7 p.m. ET Golf Channel

Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller, in their 12th season together, will anchor ‘Golf Channel on NBC’ coverage Saturday and Sunday from the main tower. Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will serve as tower reporters while Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper will report from the course. Jimmy Roberts will serve as interviewer/essayist. Kelly Tilghman will host Golf Channel coverage with Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo anchoring from the main tower. Maltbie, Koch, Rolfing and Pepper will have dual roles joining Phil Parkin and Rich Lerner as Golf Channel reporters.

Golf Channel also will have an imbedded social media reporter at the tournament, who will work behind the scenes to provide an exclusive look into the production of the broadcasts. Fans can access this content from the Golf Chanel Facebook and Twitter pages. NBCSports.com’s ProGolfTalk will feature previews, recaps and analysis of all the pairings and results throughout the event.

Golf Channel and NBC will share 10 tournaments on the PGA TOUR’s 2011 FedExCup schedule, including the PLAYERS Championship and PGA TOUR Playoffs.

“GOLF CHANNEL ON NBC”: All golf coverage on NBC will be re-branded as “Golf Channel on NBC.” The coverage will incorporate the Golf Channel look throughout every telecast, down to the logo on the NBC Sports commentators’ apparel. Golf Channel’s tournament graphics will be showcased throughout all coverage, which now includes a custom-made Golf Channel-NBC peacock combination logo.

Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Sports Group: “There are very few channels whose name delivers exactly what the brand promises. Beginning with Arnold Palmer and Joe Gibbs 16 years ago, Golf Channel has built a strong brand by covering the sport with passion and authenticity, which made re-branding all NBC Sports golf coverage as ‘Golf Channel on NBC’ an easy decision. Our plan is to grow Golf Channel by exposing it to new viewers through the broad reach of the network and the unprecedented cross-promotional power of NBCUniversal.”

In addition to branding, Golf Channel’s coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship also will benefit from generous promotional support from NBCUniversal’s family of TV networks and websites. WGC-Accenture has been identified as a cross-channel priority by the NBCUniversal Marketing Council.

Mike McCarley, president, Golf Channel: “The opportunity to have the vast resources of the NBCUniversal family behind an initiative like this will be extremely effective in helping to expose the Golf Channel to millions more viewers. At our best, we provide viewers the best seat in the house for the most in-depth and compelling golf coverage on television.”

STATE OF THE GAME LIVE: Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo, two of the premiere voices in golf, will participate in a first-of-its-kind television event titled “State of the Game Live” this Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. Miller and Faldo, along with golf analysts Roger Maltbie and Brandel Chamblee, will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dan Hicks on issues surrounding the game today. Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo will also participate in the program.

Ebersol: “This is a unique golf-television event that for the first time brings together the two premiere voices in the game…Johnny Miller, who I have had a special relationship with for many years, and Nick Faldo. Beyond all of their credentials on the course, their voices always resonate with fans on the significant issues that affect the game. Our goal is to utilize our combined assets for more events such as this in the future.”

CONFERENCE CALL: Earlier today, Miller, Hicks, Maltbie, Chamblee and Faldo participated in a media conference call. For a replay of the call, dial 719-457-0820. Passcode: 8615027. Following are highlights:

Faldo on the competition: “Great week. Sixty-four guys going down to 32 (on) Day 1. One of the most exciting days on television because nobody likes to go home. These guys will fight hard…we will have some great matches.”

Miller on Tiger Woods’ ability to win majors again: “I think he just needs a win. The bottom line is it could be the Hershey Bar Open. It wouldn’t matter. He just needs a win…I still think that he can make those guys eat their words…these young guys that are basically writing him off. But he’s got to get some confidence quick…to expect to win at Augusta without winning. I’m not saying he can’t do it because he’s like Jack Nicklaus, who at 46 won a Masters out of nowhere. But he needs a win.”

Faldo on Tiger Woods’ ability to win majors again: “I don’t think you can say it’s never going to happen. But it’s definitely more difficult now.”

Miller on match play: “Match play is of course a whole different animal and every hole is a little event…There are some great matches. Looks like that Snead bracket that Tiger’s in is really a strong bracket.”

Chamblee on Tiger Woods and the competition this week: “This week sets up nicely. Of course for the first time in ages, Tiger Woods is probably not the favorite for a lot of different reasons. Just to Johnny’s point about the Sam Snead bracket that he’s in…very, very tough for him to advance through that bracket…in that group you’ve got some of the longest hitters and some of the most exciting golfers in the game right now like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson…Paul Casey…Ernie Els is in that group…Tim Clark. A lot of eyes will be on that Sam Snead bracket. But it looks like the Bobby Jones bracket will see quite a bit more upsets. That’s true generally when you look at match play. A lot of people want to make an analogy to basketball and its just not.”

Faldo on the field this week: “It’s a global game and the fact that they’re all here this week is great…64 of the best players in the world. And you’ve got such a variety of stories.”

Maltbie on match play: “Match play is really compelling. It’s personal. It’s one-on-one. It’s not man against the course, it’s you against the course and, very importantly, your opponent.”

Hicks on match play: “The match play is always a special feel, special look because its one and done. It’s really entertaining for the fans.”

Chamblee on match play: “Definitely looking forward to the week for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which is that 64 of the best players in the world have all come together…it’s compelling because in match play you see the guys play a little bit more cavalier style of golf. You end up getting some great story lines.”

Hicks on Golf Channel and NBC coming together under Comcast ownership: “You’re doing the viewer at home a service by having this kind of firepower and having this kind of thinking and dynamic. The viewer at home is really the beneficiary of this merger.”

Chamblee on Golf Channel and NBC coming together under Comcast ownership: “The way it will be branded, at least from what I understand, is ‘Golf Channel on NBC’ will drive viewers to Golf Channel and (viewers) will get more in-depth details on players they may not know a whole lot about, which is good for golf.”

Faldo on cutting the wires to Miller’s microphone (joking): “I’m upgrading my scissors and now going to gardening sheers to cut Johnny off.”

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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