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Experts analyze the future of golf broadcasting

Speculating about the future of professional golf is a popular pastime of late, mainly because there are so many unknowns.

But the same can happen in the world of golf broadcasting. With the stars of the game separated on two different tours, and the dwindling ratings in some competitions, there is plenty of reason to wonder what kind of changes can be made in the coming months and years.

In a recent episode of Peter Kostis and Gary McCord’s Off Their Rockers podcast, a GOLF production, Kostis and McCord tapped Brandt Packer, a veteran Golf Channel/NBC producer, for his take on the industry.

“If you take over and have carte blanche, what would you do with the game of golf 20 years from now?” McCord asked. “Where do you think it will be then, if you have a crystal ball to look into?”

“I don’t think I can go that far,” Packer replied. “I mean, I think it’s hard to look at 20 days from now.”

Packer said the best way to understand what’s going on is to look at the current state of TV to get an idea of ​​what the networks are facing in terms of production costs.

“You, you had the last TV, interviews, right? And they go up, what, 60 percent by 2030? Packer started. “I was part of Comcast during Covid, and I thought, as a viewer, what CBS did was very good in terms of what they had to do to keep it on the air. From Comcast’s point of view, they are still paying us for all of that. I was part of the first one, because we took Fox’s USGA gig, so I was part of the first one back in August. I did the US Am at Woodmont, and what had to happen for that to happen, you know, you had double the trucks because you had to stay six feet. Only a certain number of people were allowed in the trucks. You had flights, costs went up, hotels went up, rental cars went up, food went up.

“That inflation didn’t go down, when Covid did its thing,” Packer continued. “Then you agreed, now there is a new TV deal, which has increased by 60 percent by 2030. And what you get in terms of your return on investment, if you think about it, you get the same thing. if you are a networker, right? And I think that’s what these networks are going through right now, where they have to say, hey, our return on investment is, at best, equal. I mean, I could make the argument worse. You never know who is in the fields. As you guys have talked about, you’ve lost criminals, you’ve lost people that, people who really want to watch and have to make their money in some way.

What does the future of pro golf look like? Here are 2 creative ideas


Josh Behow

“And then if you take the current position, when I was last in production, and I think it’s the same, you had six commercials an hour. So over three hours that’s about 18 ads, and you have to take them and they’re 2.5 minutes each. So you have to pre-load your ads or re-load your ads, and no matter what you do, the current golf Twitter landscape, everybody’s going to complain about that. “

So what’s the best way forward, given the network’s production commitments and the viewer’s desire for uninterrupted action? It’s a difficult dilemma – but one that Packer believes can be achieved with some restructuring.

“Moving forward, there have to be creative ways to promote this,” Packer said. “If the first gripe is marketing-related, I think you have to look at it differently and say, okay, how do we keep sponsors strong and get a great return on their investment, the networks still have to make money on this.

“When we opened the USGA’s NBC package outside of the US where they were selling for free, Rolex put up a ton of money,” he continued. “So what I’m going to do, the US Am or the US Women’s Am, we were free to make money. Now, you had to make Rolex pops and you had to do things to fix that. But I think the first thing you have to do is look at, how can the network program these broadcasts, do the ads differently? Because that, to me, is the first way. “

Golf is different from the world of live sports because the action continues even when the broadcast is interrupted by commercials, Packer said.

“The real core of television coverage is golf shots,” he said. “It is the only event in sports where they leave and continue to play. It never happens in football, it never happens in basketball, it never happens in baseball. Play is stopped. So I think you have to be creative and say, okay, something has to give. Networks have to give less. The visit should give a little because the product, that would be the first thing. And then all the other things, for me, will be icing on the cake.”

For more insights from Packer, Kostis and McCord on the future of golf broadcasting, watch the full episode below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of women’s varsity golfers, Jessica knows how to beat everyone on the golf course. He can pass them through the office, too, where he is primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s first Style Issue, which began in February 2018. His first interview series, “A Round With,” released in November 2015, and appeared in both magazine and video form on

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