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How NBC Lost the U.S. Open

by Jeff Skinner

How does NBC lose the U.S. Open?  How does Fox steal it from them? And what in the heck is Fox Sports 1?  Here’s the answers from Ron Sirak in Golf World.  As usual it’s all about the Benjamin’s.

While terms of the deal were not made public, sources indicated to Golf World it was for $1.2 billion over the length of the contract, or about $20 million a year more than the NBC/Golf Channel offer.

“Financials are absolutely important but that was not the only factor,” says Hirchland, neither confirming nor denying the $1.2 billion figure. “TV money is our largest revenue stream. We had very good choices.”

The windfall from the FOX deal fattens what some in the USGA privately refer to as the war chest that might be needed if the governing body is sued in disputes over rules, especially equipment regulations. There have already been threats of legal action regarding the ban on the anchored putting stroke.

Here’s a look at Fox Sports’ new Fox Sports 1 channel.  It is their answer to ESPN.  Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times gives us a glimpse of the new channel that has its sights set on ESPN.

“I think it’s time for ESPN to get a little competition, don’t you?”

That tough talk is coming from an unlikely source — 81-year-old Regis Philbin. The former daytime television talk show host and David Letterman foil is one of the faces of Fox Sports 1, the cable network launching Saturday that is the latest David looking to knock off ESPN’s Goliath.

Given that Philbin is more accustomed to speaking to housewives and is more than twice as old as the viewers Fox Sports 1 is hoping to attract, his hiring seems unusual to say the least.

Hat tip to Geoff Shackelford for the LA Times story.

 

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