Press Release

Posted by Andy Hall on July 10, 2014

ESPN at The Open Championship

PRINT VERSIONFILED IN: Golf

The 143rd renewal of golf’s oldest major, The Open Championship, will air live on ESPN for all four rounds as it is played July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. The second-oldest seaside links golf course in England will be hosting the championship for the 12th time.

General Views of Royal Liverpool Golf Course

In addition to more than 65 total hours on television, which includes live play and encore presentations, ESPN will surround the telecasts with live broadcasts on ESPN Radio and extensive digital offerings on computers, tablets and mobile devices, including second-screen experiences on ESPN3.

ESPN and WatchESPN will have 11 scheduled hours of live play from each of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, July 17-18, from 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET. The third round on Saturday, July 19, will air live from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. with the final round on Sunday, July 20, airing live from 6 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

After missing the Masters and the U.S. Open due to back surgery, Tiger Woods will be making his first start of the season in a major and ESPN3 will offer a live feed following Woods for his entire round each day he plays.

 

ESPN’s flagship news and information program, SportsCenter, will originate from the site of the championship with a one-hour special SportsCenter at The Open Championship program on Wednesday, July 16, at 6 p.m. as well as with extensive reports throughout each day beginning Monday, July 14.

Paul Azinger, the 1993 PGA Championship winner, will be lead analyst for ESPN’s four-day coverage of Open Championship live play, joining anchor Mike Tirico in the announce booth. Tirico will be lead announcer for ESPN’s Open Championship telecasts for the 18th consecutive year.  

ESPN’s expert analysts and reporters for the event represent nine major golf championships and in addition to Azinger include Andy North and World Golf Hall of Famer Curtis Strange, both two-time U.S. Open champions; World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin, two-time women’s major champion Dottie Pepper, 1973 Open Championship winner Tom Weiskopf and 2001 Open Championship winner David Duval.

Scott Van Pelt and Sean McDonough also will be in the host role during the four days of the event in addition to working as hole announcers along with Strange. On-course reporters will be North, Rankin, Pepper and Bill Kratzert while Tom Rinaldi will conduct player interviews. Duval and Weiskopf will serve as analysts at various times and the BBC’s legendary golf announcer Peter Alliss will join ESPN for several afternoon hours on both Thursday and Friday.

With wind being such a factor in links golf, ESPN will use Virtual Aerial, a technical feature that demonstrates for viewers the different conditions for golfers around the course with a live aerial view of wind direction in one part of the course as opposed to another. ESPN also will use Flight Tracker on six holes. The real-time feature tracks drives from behind and in front of the shot with a virtual line on the screen, allowing viewers to see the flight path of the ball from the time it leaves the tee.    

Golden Globe winning actor Ian McShane again lends his voice to ESPN’s Open Championship scene-setting interstitial videos penned by ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine senior writer Wright Thompson.

As part of ESPN’s wall-to-wall coverage, The Best of The Open Championship, an edited encore presentation, will air in prime time Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7-11 p.m. on ESPN and Sunday night from 9 p.m. – midnight on ESPN2 for golf fans unable to watch the live play earlier in the day. Highlights of each day’s play also will air in The Open Championship Today from 3-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday on ESPN and Saturday and Sunday on ABC. The Open Championship has appeared on ABC every year since 1962.

General Views of Royal Liverpool Golf Course

SportsCenter at The Open Championship

A special one-hour SportsCenter at The Open Championship will have an extensive preview of the event on Wednesday, July 16, at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. The program will originate from Royal Liverpool. Scott Van Pelt will host with analysts Andy North and Curtis Strange and reporter Tom Rinaldi. ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski also will contribute to the special.  

Regular editions of SportsCenter will have reports from The Open Championship beginning Monday of event week. Mike Tirico will share the host role with Van Pelt on the reports with analysis by North, Strange, Paul Azinger, Dottie Pepper, Tom Weiskopf and David Duval. Rinaldi will conduct interviews and file reports while Wojciechowski will add reactions, reports and features.

 

ESPN Radio’s Four-Round Open Championship Coverage

ESPN Radio’s coverage of The Open Championship tees off Thursday, July 17, with a six-hour live broadcast at 7 a.m. ET from Royal Liverpool. Daily coverage will continue Friday (7 a.m. – 1 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and Sunday (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.). The broadcasts also will be available on ESPNRadio.com and TheOpen.com.

Commentators contributing to ESPN Radio’s live coverage will include Doug Bell, Dennis Paulson, Bill Rosinski, and Bob Wischusen.

 

The Open Championship on ESPN Digital Platforms

WatchESPN and ESPN3

ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, will offer golf fans five options for a second-screen experience during The Open Championship.

With Tiger Woods making his first start of the year in a major, ESPN3 will offer a feed following Woods for his entire round each day he plays. If Woods does not advance to the weekend, other players will be spotlighted.

Another ESPN3 Open Championship feed will feature live play on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes at Royal Liverpool, plus player interviews from the practice range, highlights and features.

Trey Wingo and Jim Kelly will share the host role on the two feeds, with 1973 Open Championship winner Tom Weiskopf and 2001 champion David Duval sharing the analyst chair. Former LPGA player Jane Crafter also will serve as an analyst with Kim Thomas interviewing players on the practice range and Mark Donaldson reporting from the course.

ESPN3’s Open Championship options also will include a Spanish-language feed with ESPN Deportes golf announcers Francisco Aleman and former LPGA pro Silvia Bertolaccini and the International View from the BBC/World coverage. The programming for the four feeds begins at 4 a.m. ET on the first two days of the event, 7 a.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. on Sunday.

The fifth feed will be @TheOpen Live, an “outside the ropes” presentation covering the general atmosphere of the event that also includes fan interviews and news conferences. @TheOpen Live begins Wednesday, July 16, at 7 a.m. and then at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

All Open Championship programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 is available via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast (via the WatchESPN app), Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  It is currently accessible in more than 67.5 million households nationwide to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from AT&T U-verse® TV, Bright House Networks, Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Charter, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications, NRTC, Time Warner Cable or Verizon FiOS TV.

 

ESPN.com

Coverage of The Open Championship on ESPN.com will be extensive and will include:

  • News, reactions and columns from senior golf writer Bob Harig, national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor.
  • “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Andy North, will be produced each night Wednesday-Sunday of Open Championship week.
  • “Quiet Please,” the exclusive weekly ESPN.com video show, on Tuesday from Royal Liverpool.
  • Live chat, featuring newly redesigned for mobile “Scribble Live” application — moderated by ESPN.com senior golf analyst Michael Collins.
  • Collins will hand out nightly grades for the top players in the world plus other notable names.
  • “Championship Central” on the ESPN.com/Golf index page focusing on the majors and the Ryder Cup.
  • ESPN GolfCast with an easy to use interface with scoring, video and social media elements.
  • Links to theopen.com incorporating traffic roll-up of live feeds from marquee groups and holes 13, 14 and 15.
  • Daily Open Championship coverage begins July 12.
  • Video clips from ESPN golf analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange, Paul Azinger and Dottie Pepper.
  • Photo galleries
  • Interactive elements including fantasy golf game — Best Ball Challenge — and Open Championship conversation pages.

 

ESPN Mobile

News, highlights and an Open Championship leaderboard will appear on the ESPN mobile Web and SportsCenter app. There will also be news and columns and scoring alerts for top players.

 

Additional coverage of The Open Championship on ESPN platforms:

ESPN International

The Open Championship on ESPN platforms will reach some 53 countries and more than 60 million international households, with coverage in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French language. Latin America and the Caribbean will also feature live television coverage and exclusive digital feeds (Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson, Holes 13/14/15, a Spanish language feed, BBC/World View and @TheOpen Live) via its broadband players – ESPN Play in Spanish & English speaking territories & WatchESPN in Brazil. In Canada, TSN and RDS (in French) will carry all four rounds of the championship live along with streaming coverage via the TSN.go platform.

 

ESPN Classic

ESPN Classic will feature a tribute to The Open Championship leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the event with multiple hours of special programming including highlights of past events as well as Open Championship-related films and programs. The tribute begins Tuesday, July 15, at 7 a.m. ET with an airing of The Open Championship film “The Nearly Men” and includes highlights from events dating back to 1970. The programming will run straight through until 4 a.m. on Thursday, July 17, when ESPN’s live coverage begins.

 

ESPN The Magazine

The “Comeback Issue” of ESPN The Magazine, on stands now, contains a breakdown of holes 16 and 18 at Royal Liverpool — the closing par 5s that could very well determine The Open Championship winner. During the 2006 Open, the last time the event was held at Royal Liverpool, the six players who finished in the top-five played the par 5s a combined 61 under par, which played a huge role in their high finishes.

 

ESPN on Demand

Available in approximately 45 million television households, ESPN On Demand will offer exclusive Open Championship content, including official films from Tiger Woods’ historic 19-under victory in 2000 at St. Andrews and his 2006 win at Royal Liverpool, the 2002 event at Muirfield (won by Ernie Els), and a look at how Phil Mickelson came so close to winning in 2011. Viewers will also be able to watch Mickelson’s 2013 win at Muirfield and John Daly’s second and last major win in 1995.

 

Interactive Television

The four-screen Open Championship Experience will air on DirecTV (channels 701-705) for all four days of the championship. With Tiger Woods competing in a major for the first time this year, one of the channels will be dedicated to following Woods whenever he is on the course. Another channel will have alternating live coverage of holes 13, 14 and 15, plus player interviews from the practice range, highlights and features. Trey Wingo and Jim Kelly will share the host role on the two channels, with analysts Tom Weiskopf, David Duval and Jane Crafter, interviewer Kim Thomas and reporter Mark Donaldson. The other two channels will carry the live ESPN telecast and the International View with the BBC/World coverage.

 

Three Weeks in the U.K.

ESPN’s Open Championship telecasts are in the middle of three weeks of live championship golf from the United Kingdom on ESPN Networks. ESPN2 is televising four days of play in the Ricoh Women’s British Open from Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, July 10-13, with the telecast airing 9 a.m. – noon ET on Thursday, July 10, and Friday, July 11, and 8 a.m. – noon for the two weekend days. The week following The Open Championship, ESPN2 will televise two hours of live play each day in the Senior Open Championship from Royal Porthcrawl Golf Club in South Wales, with coverage airing noon – 2 p.m. ET Thursday, July 24, through Sunday, July 27.

 

The Open Championship – Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, England

(all times U.S. Eastern)

Day/Date Program Start Network
Wed., July 16 SportsCenter at The Open Championship 6 p.m. ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thu., July 17 First Round 4 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu., July 17 First Round 7 a.m. ESPN Radio
Thu., July 17 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Thu., July 17 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 18 Second Round 4 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 18 Second Round 7 a.m. ESPN Radio
Fri., July 18 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., July 18 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat., July 19 Third Round 7 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sat., July 19 Third Round 9 a.m. ESPN Radio
Sat., July 19 The Open Championship Today 3 p.m. ABC
Sat., July 19 Best of The Open Championship 7 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sun., July 20 Final Round 6 a.m. ESPN, WatchESPN
Sun., July 20 Final Round 8 a.m. ESPN Radio
Sun., July 20 The Open Championship Today  3 p.m. ABC
Sun., July 20 Best of The Open Championship 9 p.m. ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

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Media Contact: Andy Hall, 386-492-2246 or andy.hall@espn.com