Something must be in the water in sports media because on the same day Fox Sports cut positions at its regional websites, Golf Channel has cut 30 positions at the network. Steve Elling at Golf Blot reports that most of the cuts will be in original programming where series like Big Break have been produced.
Big Break has been popular and just completed its 23rd cycle, but with the decision, Elling writes that it effectively puts the show on hiatus and cancels other programs such as In Play With Jimmy Roberts. While Big Break has been popular with viewers, Elling says the network wants to place more of an emphasis on live golf, but the decision to cut positions came from the corporate headquarters in Philadelphia rather than inside Golf Channel:
“Golf Channel insiders maintain that even though profit margins remain substantial at the 20-year-old network, new parent company Comcast ordered the workforce reductions, which had little to do with any actual change in broadcasting focus.”
Starting last week with the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, Golf Channel is in the midst of 25 consecutive days of live golf. And the network has seen viewership records due to live action which usually takes place between Thursdays and Sundays.
Golf Channel has filled Monday through Wednesdays with Big Break, In Play With Jimmy Roberts, documentaries, movies and replays of classic tournaments. The network will to air a new original series, Altered Course, starting on June 15, but it appears that will be one of the last taped shows to be produced for the network.
Elling reports that the online writing staff is not affected by the cuts.