Two weeks after David Feherty and CBS could not reach agreement on a new contract, the golf reporter and analyst has signed with NBC Sports Group. Going to NBC was expected, as Feherty already had a relationship with the network, hosting a self-titled talk show on the Golf Channel.
But according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, Feherty’s role with NBC won’t just be limited to work on the main network and the Golf Channel. As part of a “first-look development deal” with Universal Television, he will also be involved in developing entertainment-based programming. Of course, Feherty was signed primarily for golf coverage. Ourand has more on what his role will entail:
“As for the golf, Feherty primarily will be a walking on-course reporter for NBC and Golf Channel’s telecasts, which include PGA Tour events, the Olympics, Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. He will be in the tower on occasion. The deal also ensures the continuation of Golf Channel’s ‘Feherty’ talk show, which debuted in ’11.”
That confirms what AA’s Ken Fang speculated last week, as NBC already has Johnny Miller in its tower position and would like David Duval to eventually take over that role. Though Feherty reportedly preferred not to work as an on-course reporter any longer, the Golf Channel’s wider broadcast scope provides him the opportunity to select which events he covers. He’ll be able to cover golf as part of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio (which could conceivably include an expanded role), as well as next year’s Ryder Cup. NBC will also have The Open Championship, beginning in 2017.
Having an expanded role for the network — which will also include digital content — makes up for not getting the analyst role Feherty presumably coveted. Could he expand his talk show into interviewing celebrities or even politicians? On Tuesday, the Golf Channel is reairing his 2012 interview with Donald Trump (including new commentaries from Feherty), ahead of Wednesday’s Republican debate on CNN. Feherty has also been outspoken about politics in the past, which got him in some hot water with CBS in 2009. In its official press release, NBC mentions that Feherty could rove around any of its networks.
But if Neil Patrick Harris’ Best Time Ever variety show (which debuts Tuesday night on NBC) doesn’t work out, perhaps that creates an opening for Feherty on the network. The man has comedy chops, having done a one-man show, Off Tour. Maybe developing sitcoms or other such programming is also in Feherty’s future. Otherwise, Ourand mentions that Feherty was seeking to be included on football and basketball telecasts at CBS. He actually served on the sidelines for a Notre Dame-Navy game in Ireland a few years ago. Perhaps a general interest sports show or something along those lines is in the works on NBCSN.