Thursday, September 27, 2012
Error in Golf Channel documentary on 1991 Ryder Cup
The most fascinating historical broadcast aspect of the excellent Golf Channel documentary War by the Shore on the 1991 Ryder Cup was the discussion of the Saturday afternoon NBC coverage. Commentator Mark Rolfing said that the last fourball match was still on the 13th hole when NBC had been scheduled to conclude its telecast at 6 pm ET. And Roger Maltbie remarked that TV networks did not typically overrun the scheduled ending time for golf events at that time. But NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol gave the go-ahead to stay on the air and NBC continued televising the action for 90 extra minutes and without commercial interruption. This was quite significant considering the relative lack of TV coverage for previous Ryder Cups.
However, this segment of the documentary contained an error. Around the 32 minute mark, during this discussion of the NBC Saturday telecast, Rolfing said: "And this is the first day of network coverage of a Ryder Cup". That statement is clearly wrong as ABC televised some Ryder Cups in the 1970s and 1980s. I'm surprised that the filmmaker didn't catch this factual error.
The documentary included some original footage from both USA Network and NBC. Overall, it did a great job of capturing the drama and significance of this event. I highly recommend watching a replay of this documentary.