The 141st renewal of golf’s oldest major, The Open Championship, will air live across ESPN platforms July 19-22 from Royal Lytham & St Annes in Lancashire, England. ESPN will present 36 hours of live four-round television coverage as well as prime time and afternoon encores for 73 total hours on TV.
For the first time, ESPN Radio will broadcast live action from The Open Championship with 24 total hours over the four days of the event. More than 140 hours of digital platform coverage also will appear on computers, tablets and mobile devices.
ESPN, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will have 10.5 scheduled hours of live play from each of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, July 19-20, from 4:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET. The third round on Saturday, July 21, will air live from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. with the final round on Sunday, July 22, airing live from 6 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Best of The Open Championship, an edited encore presentation, will air on ESPN in prime time Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m. and 9 p.m. – midnight on ESPN2 Sunday night 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 1966.
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 18, at 2 p.m. as well as with extensive reports throughout each day.
Mike Tirico will host ESPN’s live telecasts from The Open Championship for the 17th consecutive year, with Scott Van Pelt and Terry Gannon also serving as hosts during the four days of the event. ESPN’s team will include two-time U.S. Open champions Curtis Strange and Andy North, 1993 PGA champion Paul Azinger, 1973 Open Champion Tom Weiskopf and World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin. The BBC’s legendary golf announcer Peter Alliss will join ESPN each day.
In addition to their host roles, Van Pelt and Gannon will work as hole announcers, as will Strange and Sean McDonough. Azinger, Weiskopf and Alliss will join the hosts for analysis. On-course reporters will be North, Rankin, Bill Kratzert and Olin Browne, while reporter Tom Rinaldi will conduct player interviews. ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski also will contribute to ESPN’s television coverage.
ESPN will introduce “Virtual Aerial,” a new technical feature, at The Open Championship. With wind being such a factor in links golf, Virtual Aerial will be able to demonstrate 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 continue the use of Flight Tracker, adding the element to more holes this year. The 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.
Actor Ian McShane, one of the stars of the current hit movie Snow White and the Huntsman, again lends his voice to ESPN’s opening teases, penned by ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine senior writer Wright Thompson.
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 18, at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. The program will originate from Royal Lytham & St Annes. Scott Van Pelt will host with analyst Andy North and reporter Tom Rinaldi.
Regular editions of SportsCenter will have reports from The Open Championship beginning Monday of tournament week.
ESPN Radio’s Four-Round Open Championship Coverage
ESPN Radio’s inaugural coverage of The Open Championship tees off Thursday, July 19, with a six-hour live broadcast at 7 a.m. ET from Royal Lytham & St Annes. 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.
The Open Championship on ESPN Digital Platforms
All Open Championship programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from affiliated providers Bright House Networks, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon FiOS TV.
- News, blogs and columns from ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and senior golf writers Farrell Evans and Bob Harig.
- “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by ESPN the Magazine columnist Rick Reilly, will be produced each day.
- “CoverItLive” live chat with Michael Collins throughout the championship.
- “Red Light/Green Light” with Collins each day, examining pin placements on selected holes.
- The ESPN Golf Cast application, which offers an easy-to-use interface with scoring, “CoverItLive,” video and social media elements.
- Best Ball Majors, the latest installment of the ESPN Best Ball Challenge.
- Interactive leaderboards and live scores.
- Extensive video content, including highlights, analysis, clips from SportsCenter and press conferences.
- Photo galleries, podcasts, live chats, SportsNation polling.
- Mobile WAP site.
- Spanish-language highlights and coverage on ESPNDeportes.com.
ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network will carry ESPN’s telecast of all four rounds of The Open Championship. An additional feed will have live coverage of the 1st & 18th Holes, plus player interviews from the practice range, highlights and features. Trey Wingo and Jim Kelly will share the host role, with analysts Jane Crafter and Kim Thomas and reporter Mark Donaldson. Former Open Championship winner David Duval, who is competing in the event, also will serve as an analyst while not on the course.
ESPN3 also will have a Spanish-language feed with ESPN Deportes golf announcers Francisco Aleman and former LPGA pro Silvia Bertolaccini as well as the International View from the BBC/World coverage and alternating coverage of holes 8, 9 and 10.
Live mobile video simulcasts of ESPN’s Open Championship telecasts on Thursday-Sunday will appear on ESPN Mobile TV. The Best of The Open Championship programs for the first, third and final rounds and Thursday’s The Open Championship Today programs also will be simulcast.
News, highlights and a leaderboard will appear on the ESPN mobile Web and there will be Open Championship Insider content, news and columns, scoring alerts for top players and video shot packs for select golfers.
Additional coverage of The Open Championship on ESPN platforms:
Coverage of The Open Championship on ESPN platforms will reach some 74 countries and more than 112 million international households, with coverage in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin and Cantonese. Latin America and Asia territories will offer HD coverage and streaming via ESPN Play simulcasting live TV and ESPN3 exclusive feeds. ESPN Extra in Latin America will offer The Open Championship Mix interactive TV experience for all four rounds available on DirecTV. ESPN in the UK will air four 1-hour highlight programs Thursday-Sunday in HD.
SportsCenter on ESPNEWS will offer all the latest Open Championship news beginning Monday, July 16, with interviews, pre- and post-round news conferences and analysis.
ESPN Classic will feature a tribute to The Open Championship in the days leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the event with 65 hours of special programming. The tribute begins Monday, July 16, at midnight ET with an airing of highlights of the 1986 Open Championship won by Greg Norman and will run straight through until 5 a.m. on Thursday, July 19, when ESPN’s live coverage begins. In addition to highlights from individual years, the tribute also will include airings of classic interview programs with legendary golfers Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson.
ESPN the Magazine
The “Body Issue” of ESPN the Magazine, on newsstands July 13, contains a preview of The Open Championship with ESPN golf host Scott Van Pelt and former Open Championship winner David Duval, who won the last time the event was held at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2001. The preview focuses on the 206 bunkers on the course, the most of any venue in the event rotation, and how they affect the players.
ESPN on Demand
Available to approximately 38 million television households, ESPN On Demand will offer exclusive Open Championship content, including official films from past Championships at Royal Lytham in 2001 (won by David Duval), St Andrews in 2000 and Royal Liverpool in 2006 (Tiger Woods) and a compilation of Tom Watson’s years in the event. Viewers will also be able to watch a 2011 Open Championship highlight film.
The four-screen Open Championship Experience will air on DirecTV (channels 701-705) for all four days of the championship. One of the channels will have live coverage of the 1st & 18th Holes, plus player interviews from the practice range, highlights and features. Trey Wingo and Jim Kelly will share the host role, with analysts Jane Crafter and Kim Thomas and reporter Mark Donaldson. Former Open Championship winner David Duval, who is competing in the event, also will serve as an analyst while not on the course. The other three channels will carry the live ESPN television coverage, the International View with the BBC/World coverage and alternating coverage of holes 8, 9 and 10.
The Open Championship – Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire, England
(all times U.S. Eastern)
|Wed., July 18||SportsCenter at The Open Championship||2 p.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Thu., July 19||First Round||4:30 a.m.||ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN|
|Thu., July 19||First Round||7 a.m.||ESPN Radio|
|Thu., July 19||The Open Championship Today presented by Merrill Lynch||3 p.m.||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|Thu., July 19||Best of The Open Championship||7 p.m.||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|Fri., July 20||Second Round||4:30 a.m.||ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN|
|Fri., July 20||Second Round||7 a.m.||ESPN Radio|
|Fri., July 20||The Open Championship Today presented by Merrill Lynch||3 p.m.||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|Fri., July 20||Best of The Open Championship||7 p.m.||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|Sat., July 21||Best of The Open Championship||4 a.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Sat., July 21||Third Round||7 a.m.||ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN|
|Sat., July 21||Third Round||9 a.m.||ESPN Radio|
|Sat., July 21||The Open Championship Today presented by Merrill Lynch||3 p.m.||ABC|
|Sat., July 21||Best of The Open Championship||7 p.m.||ESPN, WatchESPN|
|Sun., July 22||Best of The Open Championship||3 a.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Sun., July 22||Final Round||6 a.m.||ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN|
|Sun., July 22||Final Round||8 a.m.||ESPN Radio|
|Sun., July 22||The Open Championship Today presented by Merrill Lynch||3 p.m.||ABC|
|Sun., July 22||Best of The Open Championship||9 p.m.||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
|Mon., July 23||Best of The Open Championship||Noon||ESPN2, WatchESPN|
Media Contact: Andy Hall, 386-492-2246 or [email protected]