NBC tries out Phil Mickelson’s ‘obnoxious greed’ show idea

NBC’s latest piece of broadcast technology owes a small debt to Phil Mickelson.

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Just a year ago, Phil Mickelson stalked the world of golf broadcasts.

Speaking of Saudi International, Mickelson shredded what he called the PGA Tour’s “insufferable greed.” As he spoke, the 6-time major champion refined golf’s broadcasts, claiming the tour was sitting on an untapped pile of “digital assets” worth “$20 billion,” and using that to fuel his own broadcast product suppress.

“If I had access to my own channel and access to my own media, I would have a camera and a mic on my hat. And on mine [caddie] brother’s hat. And on my 360 degree golf bag. I would involve the viewers,” he said. “You would see and hear what is going on. But none of that happens [currently] because why would a player do that? To make more millions for the tour?”

“They’re making enough already,” Mickelson said. “The Tour only understands leverage. And now players are getting some of that. So things are changing and will continue to change. I just hope the leverage doesn’t go away. If so, we’re back to the status quo.”

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James Colgan

It took almost a year, but it seems the tour’s broadcast partners at least listened some from Mickelson’s now famous diatribe.

On Thursday morning, NBC announced the creation of “BagCam” — a new piece of golf TV technology that will use a camera and microphone that will capture a golf hole from a “7-iron’s” perspective, according to the NBC publication.

Justin Thomas will be the first player to experiment with the new technology used on the 17th and 18th holes during Friday’s Golf Channel broadcast of the Valspar Championship. According to NBC, Friday’s “BagCam” will capture a 360-degree view of Thomas and caddy Jim “Bones” Mackay’s last two holes, expanding on the on-course interview segments that have become so popular in recent months.

Of course, it should be noted that BagCam bears a striking resemblance, both in concept and in reality, to the golf broadcasting technology that Mickelson first proposed last year. In all likelihood, NBC is borrowing similar technology to that used by both Thomas and Mickelson during the couple’s appearances on The Match, where behind-the-scenes cameras and mics were central to the entire viewing experience.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to innovate our golf coverage without disrupting or disrupting what’s happening on the course,” NBC’s lead golf producer Tommy Roy said in a statement announcing the technology. “BagCam will provide viewers at home with a unique perspective and we would like to thank Justin Thomas and Bones for joining us on Golf Channel and Peacock on Friday afternoon.”

Thomas will be teeing off at the Valspar Championship on Friday just after 1pm ET, meaning BagCam’s big debut can be expected around 6pm

Unfortunately for Phil, reaping the rewards of his own ideas might be difficult. His first round of LIV Tucson runs around the same time.


James Colgan

Golf.com editor

James Colgan is Associate Editor at GOLF and contributes articles to the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, leveraging his broadcast experience on the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 Syracuse University graduate, James – and apparently his golf game – is still thawing after four years in the snow. Before joining GOLF, James was a caddy fellow (and clever looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.

https://golf.com/news/nbc-phil-mickelson-obnoxious-greed-broadcast-idea/ NBC tries out Phil Mickelson’s ‘obnoxious greed’ show idea

Ian Walker

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