Fox unleashed a surprising salvo Wednesday in the ongoing cable sports wars when it wrested the men’s, women’s and senior U.S. Open golf tournaments from NBC and ESPN – effective in 2015.
The USGA announcement prompted a predictably colorful response from NBC’s Johnny Miller, who told The AP, “I don’t know what they’re going to do. You can’t just fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open. I guess the money was more important than the performance. No way they can step in and do the job we were doing. It’s impossible.”
Indeed, Fox must build a golf crew from scratch, and already, Internet smart alecks are nominating Gus Johnson for the lead announcer job.
But the USGA deal – naturally for far more money than it receives in its current one – merely was the latest ripple effect from the launch of Fox Sports 1 Aug. 17.
From the U.S. Open going to Fox, to NASCAR going to NBC, to Keith Olbermann returning to ESPN, every TV outlet is more desperate than ever for your attention – and your cable TV dollars – in a comically crowded field.