Over the years, Ryder Cup has worked to smoothen the viewing experience from home and abroad; With that note, the organizers had worked with different channels in the USA and UK. While they don’t need to deal much in the UK, the organizers had to negotiate with several channels in the USA. Let’s have a look at the Ryder Cup broadcasters, announcers and commentators.

Ryder Cup Broadcasters

Ryder Cup Broadcasters at a Glance

Before the British side joined the Europeans, the BBC always covered the Ryder Cup in Britain, and Sky Sports have handled the U.S. Ryder Cup coverage since the 1990s, and they created an entire channel for the 2014 and 2016 competitions. However, BBC highlights are still available nightly. 

2021 Ryder Cup Broadcast Partner

Canada’s biggest bank RBC has become a Worldwide Partner of the 2020 Ryder Cup, which will be held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, September 21-26, 2021. A biennial event featuring 12 of the top professional golfers from the United States against the best professionals from Europe, it has become one of the world’s greatest sporting events, attracting millions of spectators worldwide.

History of US Television Coverage

NBC currently holds the Ryder Cup broadcast rights in the USA. However, USA telecasting has a long history. Let’s have a look at the brief details from the beginning.

Read More : Ryder Cup History from 1921 to Present

ABC (1975–1987)

During the 1983 Ryder Cup in Florida, ABC Sports televised the “final four holes of the singles matches” with a live broadcast. This was the first broadcast of the Ryder cup. However, in 1985 the English viewers did have the opportunity to watch the single matches live. However, ESPN produced a highlights package of the singles matches. 

ABC used to broadcast the Ryder cup matches in the US in 1987 but only on the weekend days and in the late afternoon. Additionally, ABC covered the tournament on Saturday and Sunday for nearly 2½ hours. Further, the channel also covers the Ryder Cup singles in 1975 and 1979.

ESPN (1985–1987)

In 1985, ESPN was the first network in American history to broadcast a Ryder Cup taking place in Europe. Unfortunately, the coverage lasted only one hour and was shown on tape seven weeks after the matches.

The American TV coverage covered all three days of the event, at last in 1987. ESPN broadcasted 2 hours of coverage on Friday. 

USA Network (1989–2010)

USA Network broadcasted all three days of the 1989 Ryder Cup live from England. It was the first-ever live European broadcast of the event. Later on, NBC and USA Network signed a one-year deal to carry the matches live on Saturday and Sunday in South Carolina in 1991. For the first time, the entire series of five sessions was broadcasted. After the 1991 match was successful, the USA and NBC extended the contract through 1997, signaling the renaissance of the competition. 

Golf Channel outbid USA for its early-round PGA Tour rights early in 2006. As part of the deal with ESPN, NBC/Universal, the USA Network’s parent company, gave up the rights to cover the Ryder Cup every Friday through 2012.

In 2010 ESPN used to broadcast the match only on Friday as that was the day of the match. Then singles matches were forced to air on cable in 2010 because rain delayed them until Monday. Due to NBC’s decision to grant ESPN only Friday rights, USA aired the singles matches, marking the network’s last golf telecast.

ESPN (2006–2012)

In 2006, ESPN acquired the rights to sign Al Michaels from NBC/Universal, the parent company of USA Network.

After a few years, Gannon joined the Golf Channel and NBC Sports in 2012 after his role was eliminated. ESPN’s final Ryder Cup would also take place in 2012. A deal was struck with NBC for additional highlights from the Premier League 2014 event. After signing a media rights agreement, NBC secured the rights to host the event from 2016-2030, ending ESPN’s dreams of returning.

NBC (1991–present)

In 1985, ESPN aired a highlight throughout a month after the event was completed covering the US coverage. NBC began covering live weekend programming in South Carolina in 1991.

In 1993, the Ryder Cup was televised live in the United States by NBC, the first major network. Then, USA Network carried the 1989 episode on cable with BBC video. 

As the Ryder Cup became popular, NBC signed a landmark deal to air Ryder Cup from 2006 to 2014. With ESPN becoming the sub-licensee for Friday and Sunday coverage of NBC/Disney game nights in 2006.

NBC extended its Ryder Cup Tv rights and Senior PGA Championship through 2030, with Golf Channel covering the Ryder Cup on Fridays.

However, NBC and Golf Channel offered 170 hours of the 2016 Ryder Cup coverage, broadcast across the US. 

Ryder Cup Commentators for US Television

Dick EnbergNBC1995–1999 
Chick HearnNBC1959 
Dan HicksNBC2002–2018 
Charlie JonesNBC1991 
Jim LampleyNBC1993 
Bill MacateeUSA1991–2006 
Jim McKayABC1975, 1979, 1983, 1987 
Jim SimpsonUSA1989 
Mike TiricoESPN

UK Television Coverage

BBC has been a very important channel in the UK since 1927. Since then, the BBC has always covered the Ryder Cup on TV and radio till 1971

Then in 1979, after the ITV strike, BBC Radio still continued to cover the story. Sky Sports Golf has been covering the event live since 1995 and has now created a dedicated channel for it every year since 2014, having rebranded from the week before to the Monday after the tournament. Traditionally, the BBC carried live coverage on the radio since 1927 but are now forced to share their coverage with TalkSport on the radio.

This sums up the brief history of Ryder Cup broadcasters.