Golf Channel, presenting its first-ever live coverage of the Ryder Cup this month, will also provide viewers with alternative views of the biennial competition — including the European perspective.
Ryder Cup Alternate Shot will run alongside NBC’s live weekend coverage Sept. 27- 28 of the U.S. versus Europe tournament, after NBCUniversal- owned Golf Channel tees off its first live Ryder Cup coverage on Friday, Sept. 26.
ESPN previously aired the biennial competition’s first day. The stage this time is the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland.
This marks the first time a European-hosted Ryder Cup will air live and be streamed in this country (via the NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra apps).
Ryder Cup Alternate Shot on Golf Channel will be hosted by David Feherty — a 1991 Ryder Cup European Team member and host of the network’s Feherty — and Morning Drive host Gary Williams.
Joining them are Lanny Wadkins, who’s second only to Arnold Palmer with the most Ryder Cup matches ever won by an American, and ex-U.S. Ryder Cup captain and player Corey Pavin.
Former team members David Duval and Justin Leonard are on board, too.
Ex-European captains and players Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomery, Tony Jacklin and Darren Clarke will provide Golf viewers with that continent’s perspective, as will Peter “Voice of Golf” Alliss and Jesper Parnevik.
The European feed will be part of the Golf Channel coverage, too, executive producer Molly Solomon told The Wire.
“NBC might be on the eighth, but [Europe] might be focused on Rory [Mc-Ilroy], who just did something on six,” she said. “And, you know, they commentate differently over there.”
The Wire wondered if the U.S. has a chance to stop a three-peat by the powerful European squad.
“If you look at the world rankings, Europe is the favorite. But this is an unpredictable event that’s about the right guys, who is playing well and team chemistry,” Solomon opined. “Then, there’s the pomp and the patriotism and the way the crowd will react to the Americans. That can galvanize the U.S. team. I’m never surprised if there’s an upset at the Ryder Cup.”
Golf Channel’s first-day coverage tees off at 2:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 26, and at 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Golf and NBC on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Epix Helps to Screen Documentary Honoring NFL’s Barrier-Breakers
The Ray Rice controversy has recently sacked the National Football League from a publicrelations perspective, but Epix is working with the league on a promotional campaign that puts the sport in a more positive light.
The programmer has teamed with the NFL Membership Club — composed of seasonticket holders from all NFL clubs — on private screenings of the upcoming documentary The Forgotten Four.
It’s about four African-American football players — Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis — who broke the league’s color barrier in 1946.
“Everybody talks about Jackie Robinson, but a year before he broke the color barrier in [Major League Baseball], these four players did that in integrating pro football,” Nora Ryan, Epix’s chief of staff, told The Wire.
More than half of the 32 NFL clubs have agreed to hold advance screenings of The Forgotten Four prior to its Sept. 23 debut on Epix. They include the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams and New York Jets, which will hold a screening this week in Manhattan.
In attendance will be season ticket holders of the respective teams, plus local influencers, dignitaries, key members of African-American organizations, advocacy groups and educators, according to Kurt Iwanowski, chief marketing officer for Epix.
Epix on Sept. 16 also will have an advance screening at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and participate in a live webcast on the Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel.
— R. Thomas Umstead
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