Wherever golf fans go during U.S. Open week, ESPN won’t be far away. The network is using the tournament to showcase its array of media platforms.
“It’s a global championship, and we’re giving it the coverage it deserves,” said John Wildhack, ESPN’s senior vice president of programming.
The coverage begins with 14 hours of live first- and second-round play, along with 31⁄2 hours of highlights each evening. ESPN.com and ESPN Classic will simulcast play from Nos. 9 and 15, both par 3s, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of the first two rounds.
Can’t make it to a TV? ESPN360, a new service that Wildhack calls “television on your computer,” will offer daily “shot packs” of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen, allowing viewers to see virtually every shot they hit. This same service is available through Verizon Wireless’ V Cast service. Leaderboards and other information will be available through ESPN BottomLine Pro, a subscription service offered through several wireless carriers.
ESPN360 (www.espn360.com) also will offer an hour of streaming video from Pinehurst’s range at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the first two days, as well as showing post-round highlights all four days.
“We want to provide the U.S. Open in as many ways as possible knowing the viewer is not always going to be able to sit on the couch in front of the TV,” Wildhack said.
ESPN International will broadcast all four rounds to more than 140 countries and territories, and recently launched ESPN Deportes, a domestic Spanish-language channel, will broadcast eight hours of coverage from the opening two rounds. NBC will broadcast weekend coverage of the U.S. Open.