Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts is a member of the storied Merion Golf Club that next month will again host one of the nation's top golfing competitions, the U.S. Open.
Comcast subsidiary NBC has the TV rights to televise the U.S. Open.
Will there be a lot of golf coverage of the U.S. Open at Merion on NBC, the Golf Channel, and other Comcast-owned media outlets in Philadelphia?
Yep, you bet there will be.
"Super Bowl-like," Jon Litner, group president of NBC Sports Group, said Tuesday, as the media organization was gearing up for the big event in the second week of June.
It will be a home game for Comcast and NBC, Litner said, with hundreds of employees producing 117 hours of live and studio television for Philadelphia-area TV viewers and 73 hours for a national audience.
The difference between the national and local experiences will be the additional hours on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and NBC10, the local TV affiliate owned by Comcast through NBCUniversal.
NBC and Golf Channel say they are sending production crews with 500 on-air hosts, ball spotters, score keepers, executives, camera crew people and technicians. They have reserved 992 room nights in King of Prussia hotels.
There will be 60 cameras, 520 miles of cable connecting the equipment, and about a dozen NBC and Golf Channel trucks and vans in the Merion broadcast compound.
Golf Channel will begin its coverage June 10. NBC will begin live coverage on the afternoon of Thursday, June 13, and continue through that Sunday.
ESPN will televise the early rounds of the Open live on Thursday and Friday mornings, using ESPN on-air talent but NBC's production equipment.
"This is touching all parts of our company," Litner said. "There is a lot of sports muscle behind this sports symphony."
Litner said he does not belong to the Merion Golf Club, adding wryly, "But I do know there are senior members at Comcast that do belong to Merion."
He declined to name the senior members, but Comcast confirmed Roberts' membership.
Roberts, who shares very little about his private life, told an audience in Washington earlier this year that one way he relaxes is watching golf. At least for this U.S. Open, Roberts will be more than the average golf viewer.