David Feherty’s move to NBC is getting closer, as the network revealed Tuesday that he’ll make his tournament debut for them at the Waste Management Phoenix Open from February 4 to 7. Feherty will serve both as a lead analyst and in the on-course reporter role he specialized in for 19 years at CBS before parting ways with them in September. From NBC’s release:
Fittingly, Feherty’s live tournament debut coincides with the most raucous environment on the PGA TOUR schedule, featuring a crowd of more than 15,000 surrounding the enclosed par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. Feherty will join Rich Lerner in the 18th tower as lead analyst for Golf Channel’s first and second round coverage Thursday-Friday. On the weekend, he’ll transition to his familiar on-course reporter role during Saturday-Sunday afternoon coverage on NBC, with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller moving into the 18th tower position.
“After a few months off, my peacock feathers are finally starting to come in and I’m ready to join my new NBC colleagues to kick off a spectacular year ahead with The Open coming to NBC, golf’s return to the Olympics, and my personal favorite, the Ryder Cup, this fall on U.S. soil,” said David Feherty. “Forget the training wheels, I feel like I’m a gerbil being tossed to the lions in the Colosseum at TPC Scottsdale. I’m counting on Johnny [Miller] and [Roger] Maltbie to stick up for me should I encounter any chance skirmishes with those lunatic fans throughout the week.”
“David’s one-of-a-kind charm and his innate ability to cleverly access any situation – whether on the golf course or in the interview chair – is his greatest strength,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “And in welcoming him to our tournament broadcast team in 2016, viewers will revel in his candor on some of the game’s biggest stages, at THE PLAYERS, the Open Championship, Olympics, FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup.”
Feherty also is scheduled to join the broadcast team on Golf Channel and NBC for a stretch of five consecutive weeks, including each of the “Florida Swing” events: The Honda Classic (Feb. 25-28) in Palm Beach Gardens; WGC-Cadillac Championship (March 3-6) in Miami; Valspar Championship (March 10-13) outside of Tampa; and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard (March 17-20) in Orlando; as well as the WGC-Dell Match Play (March 23-27) in Austin, Texas.
In many ways, NBC/Golf Channel seems like a good fit for Feherty. He already was doing work for Golf Channel with his talk show, Feherty, and the move from CBS will allow him to keep doing on-course reporting while also picking up further reps in the lead tower analyst role. Feherty also said in September that he’s excited to work more four-day tournaments, which this will let him do:
I’m going to be doing basically the same thing at NBC/Golf Channel. I’m going to be working more four-day events there than I was at CBS. Because I’m working all four days, whereas I was only working five four-day events at CBS, I’m going to work less events overall but more of the four day ones [by extension, more time in the booth]. The first few days, I’ll be in the tower like I was at CBS, but look, I’m an outside pet. Someone has got to be out there stirring things up on the course.”
This also means that Feherty’s talk show and his tournament work are now under the same corporate umbrella, and that should make things easier for him. NBC also announced Tuesday that the sixth season of Feherty will premiere on Golf Channel March 7 with some impressive guests:
Season six of Feherty will premiere on Monday, March 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, with this season’s guest lineup headlined by former President George H.W. Bush, World No. 1 ranked golfer Jordan Spieth, and legendary play-by-play voice Bob Uecker, coined “Mr. Baseball,” by Johnny Carson, after making more than 100 guest appearances alongside Carson on The Tonight Show. The award-winning self-titled talk show –which helped propel him to a 2014 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Sports Host – stages Feherty in a one-on-one interview setting with some of the biggest names in golf, sports, entertainment, politics and business. Feherty originally debuted in June 2011 as the most-watched original series in Golf Channel history.
We’ll see how Feherty fits in with NBC’s golf coverage, but viewers eager to see his on-course coverage won’t have to wait long.