NBC Sports to carry Scottish Open
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/23/13
One weekend after NBC Sports televises the Wimbledon 2013 Championship finals, they will be back on the air from the gorgeous seaside Castle Stuart Golf Links near Aberdeen, Scotland, for the Scottish Open. This will reportedly represent the first non-major, non-Ryder Cup tournament to be broadcast by an over-the-air network in the United States.

What, you might ask, would be the point of televising this event?
  • Golf fans get to see a fine portion of the Open Championship field, one weekend ahead of the big event at nearby Muirfield;

  • NBC will attempt to capitalize on sports fans making room in their schedule on consecutive Sunday mornings, as well as giving the Inverness area some much-needed promo time;

  • NBC will likely promote the Scottish Open heavily during their Wimbledon coverage. Any time golf receives promos during other sports telecasts is always welcome;

  • The European Tour will get some highly desirable promotion on U.S. network television, which is also helpful since NBC's co-owned Golf Channel carries a good deal of Euro Tour events;

  • The tournament's lead sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, will get a chance to market to North American business owners, managers, and investors.

  • Viewers will get to see a "modern seaside links" course; Castle Stuart opened in 2009 with a co-design between American architect Gil Hanse and owner/developer Mark Parsinen. Unlike many championship-caliber courses, Castle Stuart is very much open to the public. (And I have already added it to my "bucket list.")
Some American viewers may shrug and say "meh," but I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how NBC Sports golf bosses Jon Miller and Tommy Roy plan the coverage. The Scottish Open should fit nicely into their "Championship Season" theme, following on the heels of the men's and women's U.S. Opens, the NHL's Stanley Cup, and Wimbledon.

Marketing aside, the course itself is in an especially gorgeous part of Scotland, with several landmarks and attractions nearby, including several castles and Chanonry Point, which is a prime spot for viewing bottlenose dolphins.

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Image via Children's Hospice Association Scotland

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
Sorry... gotta say "MEH"
Dusty23 says:
I wonder if NBC will use the European Tour announcers from Golf channel. If they do, the American audience will get to see sports announcers who are clearly understated in their comments, instead of American announcers who feel that because they have a microphone they need to talk.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Good question. Given that NBC spilled the $$$$$ to cover this event, I suspect that NBC will bring their A-list guys like Hicks, Miller, Maltbie, Koch, etc., and use the footage in a future bid to win the Open Championship away from ABC/ESPN.
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