NBC and the Golf Channel just announced that it will air all the Ryder Cup matches this September from Scotland. Previously, ESPN had the rights to the Friday matches.
Now this is where it gets complicated. Apparently, it involves some sort of trade between NBC, which owns the Golf Channel, and ESPN. Geoff Shackelford at his site actually broke down the details in January:
As reported here last month, NBC/Golf Channel is acquiring Friday Ryder Cup coverage in return for improved Premier League highlight rights for ESPN’s various highlight shows. Also part of the trade was a talent component, Michelle Beadle is returning to ESPN after a short and unsuccessful stint at NBC Sports Network.
I can report from multiple sources that Beadle was the final piece of the second trade between the networks, the last involving Al Michaels, Friday Ryder Cup coverage and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Huh? What? This really happens?
Any other trades in the works? How about NBC gives ESPN the use of Johnny Miller for three days of First Take in exchange for Stephen A. Smith analyzing the Stanley Cup playoffs on NBC Sports Network?