Category: Fox Sports

September 04, 2013

Johnny Miller: ‘Sad’ to see NBC lose U.S. Open coverage to Fox

Posted at 5:56 PM by Scooby Axson


The lead analyst for NBC's U.S. Open coverage, Johnny Miller, said Wednesday he wished Fox Sports the best but was sad that NBC Sports won't be airing the tournament after next year. 

Fox Sports and the USGA agreed on a 12-year deal last month that awarded the rights to Fox to televise the tournament until 2026. NBC had aired the final rounds of the Open since 1995.

"The U.S. Open was always my championship. It’s what I was groomed to do, to play," Miller said during a teleconference on Wednesday. "I just always got up for the Open and loved it. You know, I’ll still love it. I just won’t be covering it."

Last month, Miller told the AP that saying that Fox "can't just fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open."

Wednesday, he said he hopes the network does a good job with their coverage.

"It’s something that’s pretty sad for me," he said. "All of us at ... Golf channel, but especially NBC ... put their heart and soul into it," Miler said. "That was the focal point of everything we did and I just hope that Fox does ... I absolutely wish them absolutely the best. It’s such a great championship."

Miller also had a few thoughts on how he would rank the major tournaments and the FedExCup Championship in terms of importance. Miller won the U.S. Open in 1973 and the British Open in 1976, but never won the PGA or the Masters.

"As a player if I had a choice between the British Open/Open, or the U.S. Open or the Masters, it's about a dead time now to me. You know, the PGA is obviously a really good tournament, too...They are all about the three best flavors of Baskin Robbins; pretty hard to argue which one is better."

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

August 29, 2013

Hicks: Miller not riding into the sunset just yet

Posted at 11:31 AM by Cameron Morfit

Millerhicks_stanbadzgettyJohnny Miller won't be hanging up his microphone just because NBC's storied relationship with the USGA will come to an end after next year. That's the way Miller's broadcast partner Dan Hicks sees it, anyway.

In a wide-ranging interview with Ed Sherman, Hicks says the newly inked USGA-FOX partnership was a shocker that saddened both Hicks and Miller, as their days of calling the U.S. Open for NBC will end (at least for the foreseeable future) with the 2014 Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Still, Hicks added, Miller probably won't walk away from the booth just because the Peacock network failed to hang onto the rights to our national championship.

"I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think Johnny is too good to just walk away because we’re not doing the Open anymore. He still wants to do some golf. Our team is tight. If the crew was breaking up, then I could see him leaving.

"We still [televise] a lot of good golf at NBC; the Florida swing; the Players; the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. I think Johnny will want to be part of that."

For now, Hicks says, he'll concentrate on being the new voice of Notre Dame football. And he'll keep plenty busy with a full slate of golf tournaments in 2014. After that, though, he'll have some more time on his hands. Although he said the USGA was right to open up the bidding, the FOX news was "a kick to the stomach."

"The U.S. Open gets in your blood. It becomes a part of who you are. I’m still coming to terms  with knowing that next year will be our last U.S. Open. I probably won’t absorb it until 2015 when we’re on the outside looking in. It’s going to be tough.

"I feel worse for (Miller) than anyone. He gives so much emotion to that championship. After I talked to (producer Tommy Roy), I called Johnny. You could hear the emotion in his voice."

(Photo: Stan Badz / Getty Images)
August 15, 2013

Fox Sports plans on innovating U.S. Open broadcasts

Posted at 10:17 AM by Scooby Axson

When Fox Sports takes over the broadcasting for the U.S. Open in 2015, fans can expect something different when the tournament makes it way to Chambers Bay outside of Seattle.

Fox is expecting a lot as well, spending $1 billion to broadcast the tournament over 12 years.

What changes you will see on your television, no one knows just yet, but Fox brass are betting that fans will stay entertained. Look for more cameras on and around the golf and some technical innovation.

Viewers can expect "the Fox attitude, energy, enthusiasm and toughness," Eric Shanks, co-president of the Fox Sports Media Group told The Hollywood Reporter. "We'll work hand in hand with the USGA to tell the stories through technology and interesting on-air personalities."

Fox is known for doing things outside of the box, including its expanded score box in baseball and its fluorescent puck in hockey.

"Can we do things that maybe haven't been done before," adds Shanks, "things fans can appreciate that bring the sport into their living rooms in a way that is a bit more compelling?"

One question fans might have: Will the Fox mascot, Cleatus, make an appearance at the U.S. Open?

"We haven't spoken to Cleatus' agent or any of the other robots' agents," jokes Shanks, "about their ability to swing a golf club."

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

August 11, 2013

Greg Norman says Fox offered him U.S. Open analyst gig

Posted at 10:42 AM by Mike Walker

Greg_300Sorry, Discovery Channel, but "Shark Week" might soon refer to the U.S. Open.

According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf World/Golf Digest, Greg Norman says Fox Sports has offered him the lead analyst position when Fox takes over the U.S. Open broadcast in 2015 as part of a 12-year deal worth a reported $100 million a year. Johnny Miller, the acerbic voice of NBC Sports' U.S. Open coverage, has said he is unlikely to move to Fox for the broadcast. Here's Norman:

"David Hill has reached out to me, we have spoken and yes, they have offered me the job," Norman confirmed in an email sent from his home in Florida. "I am flattered to have been asked and I look forward to having discussions with my good friend (Hill) in the very near future."

Hill, senior vice president for News Corp., ran Fox Sports Media Group before moving over recently to manage "American Idol" and the "X Factor" for the network.

Photo: Greg Norman at Wimbledon in July (Getty Images).

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