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ESPN to Provide Alternative Telecast of PGA Championship

ESPN
(Image credit: ESPN)

BRISTOL, Conn.—Following its success with alternative broadcasts of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Manning, ESPN is planning to offer an alternative telecast of the PGA Championship. 

The alternative telecast will air four hours per day on all four days of PGA Championship from May 19 to 22. It will be produced by ESPN in collaboration with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions. 

Hosted by Joe Buck, who recently joined ESPN to anchor Monday Night Football next season, and ESPN senior golf analyst Michael Collins, the host of the ESPN+ program America’s Caddie, the telecast will feature an array of guests to offer running commentary and conversation during live play.

Peyton and Eli Manning will be among the guests on the telecast during the tournament. Other guests who will appear across the four days of coverage will include Troy Aikman, Josh Allen, Charles Barkley, Fred Couples, Jon Hamm and ESPN’s Doris Burke with more guests to be announced later.

“Working with Omaha Productions, we are producing a telecast that is designed to reach a new and different audience and elevate the appeal of the PGA Championship even more,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president, production. “We feel that this will ultimately help grow our viewership and provide fans with another fun and creative way that they can enjoy sports.”

“We loved doing Monday Night Football with ESPN and the entire Omaha team has been looking forward to producing alternate telecasts that celebrate other sports,” said Peyton Manning. “As one of golf’s majors, the PGA Championship is a perfect place to do our first one for golf and we look forward to working with Joe, Michael and everyone in ESPN’s golf team.”

During the first and second rounds on Thursday and Friday, May 19-20, the telecast will air on ESPN from 1-2 p.m. ET during the final hour of live tournament coverage on ESPN+ and then move to ESPN2 from 2-5 p.m. while tournament play is airing on ESPN.

During the third and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22, the telecast will air on ESPN from 9-10 a.m. while live play is airing on ESPN+ and then it will switch to ESPN+ from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. while live play is airing on ESPN.

Earlier this year, ESPN and The Walt Disney Company announced an expanded agreement with Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions company, a relationship that launched Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli. 

The extension added a fourth year (through 2024 season) for Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, featuring a 10-game annual slate of alternative productions to ESPN’s traditional Monday Night Football telecast. Additionally, the agreement calls for alternative presentations (with other hosts) for UFC, college football and golf to be produced by Omaha Productions in collaboration with ESPN.

In addition to the alternative telecast, ESPN will offer full coverage of the first and second rounds from Tulsa’s Southern Hills and a variety of other coverage on its networks and digital platforms. 

Overall, there will be more than 230 hours of live play across ESPN and ESPN+ during the four days of the championship and the ESPN+ streaming service will offer more than 200 combined hours of traditional play, featured groups, featured holes over all four days and practice round shows on Tuesday May 17 and Weds May 18 as the pros prepare for the event. 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.