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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Adam Woodard

Brandel Chamblee sparks No Laying Up social media beef with wild commercial comparison

Brandel Chamblee is in Hawaii for the PGA Tour’s first event of the 2024 season and the outspoken Golf Channel analyst is already in peak form.

The former PGA Tour player turned broadcaster took offense with a post from No Laying Up talking about television commercials – the self-described “fan-analysts” have long been critical of the commercial loads that make golf broadcasts difficult to watch – and decided to join the conversation.

Chamblee tried to compare an ad during a podcast to the commercial load during a broadcast. The ad in question was less than two minutes for a two-hour podcast. In contrast, an hour of golf coverage features 18 minutes of commercials. Needless to say, the replies weren’t in support of Chamblee.

Never one to shy away from a debate, Chamblee then fired back at those who called him out and further made their point for them: it’s not an equal comparison.

As fans, we know commercials must be part of the broadcast to cover the cost of airing an event. We also know how much those commercials take away from the broadcast. Networks continue to overpay for the rights to broadcast live sports, and it’s the fans who get the raw end of the deal. That’s the true problem at hand. I pay for Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, and still get hit with ads. As No Laying Up pointed out, there is major championship coverage – not bonus content, actual coverage – that is only available behind the paywall.

One of the key issues with pro golf on television compared to other sports is that when the broadcast goes to commercial, play continues. The same can’t be said for football, baseball and basketball. Both NBC and CBS have struggled with this, especially in recent years. In 2023 alone, from major championships to the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, key shots were missed and players were completely absent from coverage. The broadcasts often run their Playing Through and Eye on the Course segments, which feature a double box of commercials and golf, down the stretch of tournaments.

Jim Nantz, the voice of golf on CBS, joined the No Laying Up podcast in June of 2020 and had a healthy discussion with host Chris Solomon about the state of golf broadcasts, including the overloaded volume commercials.

“When you do feel like you have to make quicker work of it, you can’t ever really linger on anything too long because you have commitment,” said Nantz. “You go to commercial, and let’s say you’re away for two and a half minutes. How many important golf shots do you think were struck in those two and a half minutes? It’s just a random guess … but let’s say on a Saturday or Sunday, there are at least six to 10 shots that happened while you’re away. Now you come back from commercial and you have a player live, ready to hit another shot. You still have to make up for what happened while you were away. So the rhythm and timing of it, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube trying to figure out how to slot in live when we go back.”

They still haven’t solved the cube.

Chamblee is a smart man who does plenty of research to back his opinions. This take, however, wasn’t his best.

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