In the coming weeks, Golf Channel will be experimenting with a way to eliminate one of golf fans' biggest complaints about watching the game on TV: tape-delayed action.
For the next four weeks, Golf Channel will be using its European Tour coverage to introduce split-screen ads which will run alongside live coverage. Dubbed "Playing Through," the ads will take up more than half of a viewer's screen but allow viewers to continue watching the action. Commercial audio will be played alongside the ad, essentially putting the golf commentary on mute for a word from the sponsors.
The ads will run during the final two hours of each day's European Tour broadcast window through the four-tournament Finals Series, beginning with this week's BMW Masters in China through to the season finale in Dubai.
The presentation isn't new to sports, with ESPN and its parent, ABC, using it with some success when airing auto racing, allowing viewers to see race action unfold while ads aired.
How the format will translate to golf and if Golf Channel will eventually expand Playing Through to its broadcasts of other tours is unclear, but, at least for a few hours over the next four weeks, European Tour fans won't be hearing "...and while we were away" as often.