TULSA, Okla. – ESPN+ presents a golf fan’s dream on Thursday and Friday from the PGA Championship.
Starting at 8 a.m. ET and running for at least 12 hours, fans can watch eight Featured Groups (four in the morning and four in the afternoon) along with Featured Holes coverage of Holes 16-17-18 at Southern Hills Country Club. In addition, live coverage of the opening tee shots will kick off six hours of “traditional” golf coverage.
ESPN+ will be the only place on Thursday for fans to watch golf superstars Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth, whose first rounds begin at 9:11 a.m. and will conclude before television coverage starts at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
Over the four days of golf’s second major of the year, ESPN+ will stream more than 200 hours of live play.
Overseeing the entire Featured Group and Featured Holes production is ESPN coordinating producer Bryan Jaroch.
Jaroch, who spends most of the year in an oversight role for ESPN’s college football production, also works on ESPN’s coverage of the Masters.
“I’m focused on all the Featured Holes and Featured Groups here,” said Jaroch. “That’s everything from hiring all the talent and production staff to assigning them to the specific groups and featured holes. We work closely with the Programming Department to televise the best groups and assign them accordingly.”
He starts preparation for the PGA Championship in January, when college football season ends. In ESPN’s third year of an 11-year deal to televise the event, Jaroch has advanced the coverage this year to include more announcers working on-site rather than remotely as had been the case the past two years and more on-course reporters to bring additional knowledge to viewers.
Some announcers are still working remotely, either from ESPN’s studios in Charlotte, N.C., or from their homes, and some production also is being done remotely.
“It’s an amazing feat to pull all of this together,” he said.
From a golf fan’s perspective, could Jaroch imagine anything better than ESPN’s multi-platform PGA coverage?
“Absolutely not,” he said. “What we’re able to offer both from a TV standpoint and a digital standpoint is unbelievable. You can basically get whatever you want, whenever you want – and that’s the beauty of ESPN+ and why it’s so valuable to us and our viewers.
“If fans want to watch every shot of Tiger and Rory and Jordan, they can – and people want to watch the main coverage. Hardcore fans and casuals. There’s something out there for everybody.”