Rory McIlroy Jun 15, 2024; Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA; Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the fifth hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NBC’s third-round coverage of the U.S. Open struggled with technical difficulties, frustrating fans who have questioned the network’s commitment to the sport.

Sometime around 4 p.m. ET, the broadcast lost graphics, including the leaderboard, as well as audio. Even beyond that outage, fans complained about overall poor audio quality during the round.

Technical difficulties are not a new thing for NBC at the U.S. Open. Last year’s final-round coverage was marred by a buzzing sound throughout the afternoon.

Yet for many fans, the technical issues epitomized what they claim is NBC’s limited commitment to the sport. The network has been criticized for budget cuts in its coverage, a point even raised by longtime NBC analyst Paul Azinger when he left last year after failing to reach a contract extension.

Fans have also bashed the network’s unusual “rolling audition” for a lead golf analyst.

Saturday’s outage, and the continuing audio quality issues, just added more fuel to the “NBC short-changes golf” debate.

[Steve Donohue]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.