After a 33-year run of televising the U.S., ESPN signs off
After 33 years of televising the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, ESPN signed off for the final time Friday at the conclusion of the second round.
FOX Sports takes over coverage next year, the start of a 12-year deal. FOX Sports 1 will have the cable coverage, while over-the-air FOX has the weekend broadcasts. NBC is televising its final U.S. Open, as well.
At the end of Friday's broadcast, host Chris Berman reflected on ESPN's coverage. The transcript is below.
"ESPN began broadcasting the U.S. Open back in 1982, first with ABC and then of course starting in '95 with NBC. Some of us have covered this event since 1986. Now here we are in 2014, 33 years after it all began, and the proverbial final putt is about to drop. Our live coverage is about to end. And speaking for the hundreds of ladies and gentlemen through the years who worked so hard for three decades, I’ll admit that we’re sad. We’re sad because we love the event and we’re sad because we love bringing it to you. But above all, we are very proud.
"Collectively, we’re here from before sunup until the time the sun goes down and way beyond but that’s OK – we’ve just been trying to get it right. If somewhere along the line we helped you enjoy the U.S. Open a little bit more, helped you have some fun, made you bigger U.S. Open fans, then all that work was worth it. Frankly, it’s been one of the best rides in the history of this network. Thanks for sharing it all with us."
If there is an 18-hole playoff Monday, ESPN would air the first half of it, but use the NBC announcers. NBC would televise the second half.