The good news to emerge from the inability of golf fans to view live TV coverage of the final round of the RBC Heritage yesterday morning, Australian time, is that the host network in America – CBS Sports – is re-examining its policy on the matter.
Sunday’s weather forecast for Hilton Head, South Carolina, was not favourable, resulting in the US PGA Tour moving up tee-times to assure the final round was completed without delay. It was, and Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira defeated Si Woo Kim of South Korea in a playoff.
However, CBS chose to air its final-round coverage as scheduled, later in the day, not surprisingly, but it provided no alternative for those viewers interested in watching the tournament live, say, via live-streaming on the internet. The trickle-down effect for Australian viewers was that Fox Sports here had to maintain its prescribed broadcast window of 5am to 8am, AEST.
“We have not streamed live golf outside our telecast window during weather-related tee-time adjustments to protect our affiliates’ broadcast exclusivity, but we are re-examining our policy,” CBS Sports said in a statement.
The US Tour issued its own statement: “Our network partners have certain exclusive rights that the tour cannot pre-empt. CBS is re-examining their current policy and we will continue to work together to provide the most comprehensive coverage of our events.”
Here’s hoping a policy change is enacted, and, for their sake if one isn’t, that it’s not Tiger Woods pursuing a victory that is not shown live anywhere.