US Open Telecast to Extend to Prime Time Later Than Ever
By Stephanie Wei under General

Worried about not getting to watch enough of the US Open at Pebble Beach in prime time this June? Don’t be! This just in — Chris Berman will be polluting the US Open telecast later than normal. But hey, I guess that beats Jim Nantz waxing moral over Tiger’s potty language. Okay, maybe not.

Here’s the press release via Fang’s Bites:

Far Hills, N.J. (April 19) – The 2010 U.S. Open Championship June 17-20 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links will be broadcast in prime time on NBC and ESPN to the Eastern and Central time zones as part of more than 30 hours of live television coverage between June 17-20.

ESPN will begin coverage on the first two days of championship play (June 17-18) with air times of 1-3 p.m. EDT each day. NBC Sports’ coverage of the first two rounds will air from 3-5 p.m. EDT, followed by coverage from 5-10 p.m. EDT on ESPN. NBC Sports will broadcast the third round (June 19) from 4:30-11 p.m. EDT and the fourth round (June 20) from 3-9 p.m. EDT.

“Providing primetime coverage of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on NBC and ESPN gives the entire nation immediate access to the drama of our national golf championship,” said USGA president Jim Hyler. “This up-to-the-minute window elevates the experience of the U.S. Open at one of golf’s most beautiful and challenging venues.”

Sports will provide more than 16 hours of high-definition U.S. Open coverage – the most extensive HD coverage ever provided for a golf event. ESPN’s coverage will span 14 hours over the first two days of competition.

If necessary, a playoff will be contested starting at noon EDT on Monday, June 21. ESPN will cover the first two hours and NBC will then provide coverage until completion.

The first time the US Open went prime time was at Torrey Pines two years ago when it broadcast until 10pm on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday — which led to the highest ratings for the tournament in six years and the third-best Sunday rating in history. That was also the year Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate were tied after 72 holes and Tiger won on one leg the following Monday. When the US Open was last played at Pebble in 2000, Tiger crushed the major championship record with a 15-shot victory. And more people will be watching than ever this year, right? Well, at least NBC hasn’t come out with some prophetic statement that every man and woman will be watching and it will be the most epic event in the history of the universe…yet.

Well, unless I decide to go to Pebble, I’m pumped about the extra coverage. Intern Kevin is being a downer, though. He says he’ll be bored listening to Johnny Miller at those hours. Apparently he enjoys hearing the Golf Channel guys more. I mean, who do you think was the one that directed me to the telecast at 11pm on a Saturday night when Boo Weekley sarcastically uttered, “I love this f*cking game,” — it was also a week opposite a WGC tournament, mind you. I think Intern Kevin needs to get his viewing priorities straightened out. Or he just really can’t stand the likes of Berman and Miller.