It is tough to say with any clarity how Jim Nantz feels about LIV Golf, but it really is a small much easier to know what he thinks about the league’s broadcast companion.
Twice in the previous two months, the celebrated golf broadcaster has utilised the major floor for the CBS Championship to provide a subtle jab at CV, which is in its initially year as the official broadcaster of LIV Golf.
“There he is suitable on the CV … crosswalk,” Nantz mentioned in the Masters initially, a tongue-in-cheek comment aimed at then-tournament leader Brooks Koepka.
Nantz was at it once more final week at the PGA Championship in Rochester, dealing yet another blow to LIV’s Television companion following news the network pulled the plug from LIV’s final round in Tulsa just prior to the start out of the playoffs.
“I am not confident if you have had a likelihood to see it,” Nantz mentioned, pausing for dramatic impact. “But he was the winner final week in Tulsa.”
By most objective measures, Nantz’s comments rank quite low on the subjectivity index. Each day in the fantastic golf wars extra severe offenses are committed than a couple of jabs sent to the present broadcast network. But not every person sees it that way.
For a specific segment of viewers — a single that is specifically visible and vocal on social media — Nantz’s comments point to a broader work by CBS to maintain LIV on the sidelines. In their view, CBS is deliberately deleting LIV from its broadcasts and maintaining the league’s players off the air for as extended as attainable. It is all component of a bigger movement, they say, to help their close friends on the PGA Tour in destroying LIV a movement that goes all the way up the chain of command.
At the best of that chain of command sits CBS Sports President Sean McManus. So what does McManus feel of the allegations? Right after the historic broadcast of the PGA Championship saw CBS crown Brooks Koepka as the initially LIV champion in a massive way, I asked him.
“We will continue to treat golfers precisely the similar irrespective of whether they play on the LIV Tour or the PGA Tour,” McManus told GOLF in the Eye. “I would defy anybody sitting at household to say that we covered these golfers any differently than we covered PGA Tour golfers.”
The way we talked about Brooks and his accomplishments, coming back from injury, coming back from a profession position, in his words, is more than. “The way we praised him and the way we highlighted what an unbelievable comeback he had,” McManus mentioned. “I would defy anybody to say, ‘Oh, they match him a small differently for the reason that he’s playing on the LIV tour.’
1 specific focal point of the debate more than LIV coverage was Phil Mickelson, who some recommended was “banned” from the shadows by CBS. The allegations initially surfaced as Mickelson managed a gorgeous second-location finish at the Masters devoid of a great deal mention from the CBS group (Nanz later denied any nefarious behavior by CBS, citing the uncommon timing of his accusation). But viewer concern continued at the PGA, exactly where some noted that Mickelson’s 2021 victory was left out of the CBS tournament retrospective — a perceived slight against the six-time main champion.
“Kicked me out of our fantasy league as nicely,” Mickelson tweeted in response to the allegations, referring to the Nantz fantasy football league Mickelson and fellow LIV player Graeme McDowell played in collectively. “But that was likely to even points out.”
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McManus, who accepted Mickelson’s look on CBS’ coverage of the 2020 PGA Championship, saw his network’s coverage of the 2021 PGA Championship in Rochester differently.
“If something, we more than-covered Phil Mickelson more than the two-day weekend,” he mentioned. “Phil was under no circumstances in contention on Saturday or Sunday, but we showed a massive quantity of footage for the reason that folks nonetheless like to see Phil Mickelson. Just two years ago, he won the PGA Championship. We showed shot immediately after shot immediately after shot of Phil when he was a dozen or extra shots ahead. We did not say ‘oh, Phil is a Reside golfer. We will not show him that a great deal.’ It does not even take place to us. Not for a split second.”
McManus can speak with authority about coverage choices, for the reason that hardly any of them have been created outdoors of his understanding. As opposed to some other higher-profile sports media executives, McManus spends the lion’s share of CBS’ massive events in the production truck — a habit that goes back to his personal roots in the sector. (McManus’ profession started as a production assistant at ABC.)
“I like production. It was generally my initially like. “So if I get the chance, in the smallest attainable way, to be involved in the production of our massive events, I definitely get pleasure from it,” he mentioned. “I am in the truck, not just for golf, but for the NFL, college football and college basketball.”
McManus typically likes to give the floor to his hand-picked best golf producer, Sellers Shi. But provided his production background and institutional understanding, he’s not afraid to make his voice heard when required. He seldom tries to do this — a single instance getting the “snap story” segment that aired comparing weekly partners Michael Block and Rory McIlroy — but if he felt the show lacked objectivity about LIV, he’d say so.
“We’re not burying our heads in the sand at all,” he mentioned. “We talked about Brooks getting on LIV. We did not devote a great deal time to speak about it, for the reason that honestly, there is practically nothing you can say that will advance the story of LIV or the PGA Tour. Absolutely everyone knows what the scenario is.”
As is the case with so a great deal about LIV, perception is not generally reality. The suggestion that CBS will cease its personal coverage in pursuit of assisting its close friends on the PGA Tour runs counter to the network’s most effective interests. Specifically thinking of that CBS is the a single paying the tour about $350 million a year in media rights payments – not the other way about.
“We talked about it. Jim talked about it. “Trevor talked about it,” McManus mentioned. “I am proud of the reality that watching our coverage, you’d have no concept who was a LIV golfer and who was a PGA Tour golfer.” The initially two interviews we did on Sunday have been with Bryson and Brooks. I feel they may perhaps have been the only ones interviews with Amanda. The two most prominent interviews we’ve accomplished on a massive a single, final time I checked, have been on LIV.
In reality, the only a single factor that serves CBS’s most effective interest is to provide monster ratings — and in that division, this year’s broadcast fell brief of expectations. With four.517 million typical viewers, Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship was the least-watched iteration of the occasion in 5 years. Provided Koepka’s win, CBS executives and LIV fans can agree on a single factor: They want extra folks had been there to see it.