Another Reminder Of Golf's Complicated Relationship With Sports Betting
Plus, Bay Hill turns freakishly difficult, Jin Young Ko continues her dominance, two earn spots in The Open and Tappen's rough NBC start.
Show as many shots as possible. Check.
Show us PointsBet odds and hope announcers accurately explain how wagering works? Check.
Review sticky situations influencing those odds? Not so much.
The future of golf TV is here and Jimmy the Greek is it bleak.
Apparently tired of hearing for years they don’t show enough shots, NBC has swung the other way by showing as many shots as possible with dreams of golf fans some day live-betting as play unfolds. Responsibly, of course.
At least that’s where NBC seems headed in its PGA Tour coverage. CBS less so.
Besides the dreariness of turning golf viewing into a transactional relationship, a shot-heavy approach chips away at storytelling about players, course, the region or, gasp, tournament history that NBC long has excelled at. The shift will certainly not help audiences find reasons to root for players in an era of parity. Nor will it lure casual fans to tune in for a complete “show”.
As a business, Comcast owns 4.99% of PointsBet because to own any more would require the CEO to open up his personal books. The service is up and running in just ten states. A cash cow, this PointsBet is not. Yet it appears to be NBC and the Tour’s initiative du jour and therefore we get subjected to stopping the action so they can push odds the announcers often struggle to explain. (I thought this is what tickers are for?)
But let’s pretend golf gambling is what the kids want and a genuine game-grower. If that becomes the case, coverage had better get more transparent when something alters the outcome.
Two incidents during third round play at Bay Hill highlighted how networks better adapt to the reality they are forcing upon us or cut out the betting talk until they carve out time for transparency.