Warning: This article may be further evidence of the boredom forced on me by sitting around indoors watching television on 100+ degree days.
NBC added a new feature to its coverage of the British Open which it needs to reconsider and hopefully dump immediately. Its new commercial break format called “Playing Through” turns out to be distracting and irritating for us couch potato television viewers. An admirable idea, “Playing Through” allows viewers to continue watching the action on the golf course while a split-screen format runs commercials at the same time.
The problem with this idea is that it reduces the golf action to half a screen, making it harder to see. In addition, the golf half of the screen has the NBC logo (those peacock feathers), the title “The Open,” and a list of the top 3 players on the leader board superimposed over the action. It is just too hard to see the golfers on the smaller screen with all this extra business going on. I found myself praying that Jordan Spieth would finally hit his shot from the practice area after the commercial break. Why pay all that money for a 50″ screen when you find yourself squinting at an 25″ picture?
Even more annoying are the commercial jingles that end up providing background noise for the golfers – almost as irritating as some boor in the gallery yelling “mashed potatoes” after a golf shot. On behalf of couch potatoes everywhere, I ask NBC just to give us a regular commercial break after which we catch up on the action via video replay; forget about “Playing Through.”