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Golf Fans Left Fuming After ESPN’s PGA Championship Commercials Overload: ‘Coverage Is HORRIBLE’

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The 106th PGA Championship is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. First, it was Scottie Scheffler’s arrest courtesy of a ‘big misunderstanding’ with police officers in the early morning. The second round was also delayed because of a fatal accident near the course. And when it went underway fans complained of woeful coverage. 

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Many pointed out that ESPN+ coverage was not adequate for a major. Especially, when the stakes are this high. Scottie Scheffler, released from jail, is hunting for his fifth victory from six appearances. Jordan Spieth is at the cusp of a career grand slam. And, Brooks Koepka is eying his second back-to-back PGA Championship victory. And, the opening round leader, Xander Schauffele, made a course record with 9-under 62. 

But ESPN’s coverage was riddled with commercials, course overviews, analysts’ points of view, and shots from the practice range. What’s missing is the ongoing match at the par-71, 7609-yard layout. ESPN+ offers exclusive coverage from the start with the main feed, featured groups (10 groups), and featured holes (13,14, and 18). Whereas the broadcast moves to ESPN from 12 PM EDT. Additionally, ESPN2 provides an alternate coverage from 11 AM – 1 PM.

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However, netizens point out that when the time came for delivery, they were dilly-dallying. Cameras stayed on the practice range, with little to no actual game coverage. Moreover, sports betting stats ate up the coverage as many vent on the Internet. 

PGA Championship coverage has left much to be desired

ESPN has tried new tactics to draw in more eyeballs. They have partnered with No Laying Up podcast hosts on the alternative coverage on ESPN2 from 1 PM to 3 PM. Moreover, as the official betting partner of the PGA Championship, ESPN BET runs for two hours between 11 AM – 1 PM.

But from the pulse check on social media, it would appear the new move has boomeranged. “pga coverage is HORRIBLE. Podcast hosts are not the answer. Too much weird digression, not enough golf,” wrote one user. Drawing a comparison to the Open Championship, another fan commented, “The British Open Golf Coverage is the best coverage!! I guess ESPN is trying to incorporate other shows!! Not a fan of this!!” A third echoed similar sentiments: “I think I speak for many others as well when I say this ESPN Bet coverage is the worst sportscast EVER.

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Joe Pompliano, a popular voice in the Golf community tweeted, “I’m sorry but it’s absolutely insane that ESPN went 15 minutes into its live coverage of the PGA Championship only to show us a grand total of one shot before heading to commercial break.”  A section of fans pointed to ESPN’s dwindling revenue behind this decision. 

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ESPN+ subscribers have fallen 2% to 24.8 million, CNBC reported earlier this month. The broadcasting giant’s operating income has witnessed a 9% decline to $799M. One user highlighted that: “ESPN is trying to make up all their losses this year with commercial breaks. This morning working out with ESPN on and you would not even know they had a show going with the amount of commercials they were playing.

 

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Notably, ESPN faced backlash yesterday as well. Fans blasted the broadcaster for showcasing only the stars at the driving range instead of the ongoing round. The reaction to Friday coverage won’t lessen the headache for broadcasting giants. 



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