Golf Channel cameramen walk out on coverage amid Sony Open

Sunday, 14 January 2018 10:42 Written by  Read 15 times
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Union workers for video and audio production at Golf Channel events walked out Sunday over stalled contract negotiations, leading to limited coverage of the final round at the Sony Open and two other events in the Bahamas and Florida.

Golf Channel said it has been negotiating an agreement for nine months with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union for tournament technicians at golf tournaments, such as the camera crew.

The strike involves only tournaments that Golf Channel produces.

The network also produces the CareerBuilder Challenge next week in Palm Desert, California. CBS Sports produces the following week at Torrey Pines, where Tiger Woods plays on the PGA Tour for the first time in a year.

"Golf Channel has been working on negotiating an agreement for nine months with a union that represents our live tournament technicians," the network said in a statement. "Those efforts have not yet yielded a resolution, and we look forward to reaching a mutually agreeable contract. However, some technicians have chosen to walk off the job today. We have contingency plans in place, and will continue to deliver coverage."

It declined further comment, such as how it will provide coverage.

The Sony Open telecast was scheduled for 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern, and starting times are set for the final group to finish in that window. However, the PGA Tour moved up tee times by about an hour, so that the last group finishes around 9:15 p.m.

Along with the Sony Open, Golf Channel is televising the second round of the Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas, a 72-hole event that ends on Tuesday. It also is televising the unofficial Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando, Florida, for players from the PGA Tour Champions, LPGA Tour and celebrities.

Golf Channel has headquarters in Orlando and likely will be able to have more complete coverage of that event.

The PGA Tour sent notices to its players on all tours notifying them of the labor dispute.

"We are working closely with our partners at the Golf Channel to provide as much television coverage as possible," the tour said in a statement.

It said fans could follow the tournaments with real-time scoring on its website, through social media channels and PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM for the Sony Open.

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