U.S. Open golf provided showcase for new media technologies

The recent U.S. Open Golf Tournament became a hotbed of new media technologies.

NBC Universal used its new sports-dedicated mobile channel on MobiTV, a service that delivers live television to mobile phones, to focus on U.S. Open play. The service provided subscribers live coverage of the event.

The same live coverage was streamed on NBCSports.com, an attempt to capture golf fans while at the office. In addition, both the Web site and mobile phone channel carried a highlights show — the Lexus U.S. Open Wrap-up — along with on-demand video interviews from the event.

The feeds featured original editorial coverage from NBC Sports’ golf commentators as well as hole-by-hole coverage of Master’s champion Zach Johnson’s performance at the event.

EchoStar Communications, the operator of the DISH direct-to-home satellite TV service, joined ESPN to provide specialized coverage of the golf tournament with multiple views of the action from the Oakmont course located outside Pittsburgh.

The Interactive TV (ITV) mosaic offered EchoStar’s subscribers a multiple picture-in-picture showcase of six distinct U.S. Open programming options, available to all of its 12 million ITV-enabled homes.

The six different channels of U.S. Open action included coverage of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson; “Up Close,” featuring player interviews and press conferences with players and championship officials; “Tournament Leader” coverage, which highlights the tournament leaders; “Best Shots” coverage, following some of the most dynamic shots; and “The Vault,” which included highlights from previous U.S. Open competitions. Viewers could choose to watch all six channels at once or navigate to view one in full-screen format.