NBC Sports is making American television history.
The network is using an all-female broadcast team to call the ShopRite LPGA Classic on the Golf Channel, starting October 1, at Seaview’s Bay Course in Galloway, New Jersey.
Cara Banks takes on the play-by-play duties with Judy Rankin and Paige Mackenzie as analysts while Karen Stupples and Kay Cockerill serve as reporters on the course. Longtime producer Beth Hutter, who has produced LPGA coverage for over 15 years, is setting the tone behind the scenes.
On Thursday before the tournament, Stupples and Banks were asked if they felt a sense of history surrounding the event.
“It’s an interesting question. I think for all of us, we’ve all been doing it for a long time, ”Stupples said. “As this is not our first rodeo in terms of broadcasting. We come here and we do a job, and we do it week after week to the best of our ability, no matter what.
“However, I think there is a nice little special bond between all of us because we have this opportunity to do so. I feel like we’ve all worked together at different stages in different positions, but just like we talked about the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup, we can actually get together as a team this week and work on it together.
“I feel like we have a nice little bond that will never be severed now because we have this, and it’s a shared experience.”
Banks, meanwhile, admitted she felt a bit of pressure
“I would say to me it probably sounds a little more historic than it does to everyone else, because this is my first time playing this role; so it could be another week for everyone but a little different because we have this unique setup, ”she said. “I’ll probably feel the pressure a little more than everyone else, and you know it’s great to have some media coverage and attention and people who want to give us some visibility for what we’re trying to do.” to do.
“I can’t talk to them, but that’s how I would expect it to be between us.”
“We are thrilled to bring this group of incredibly accomplished women together for our broadcast of the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Golf Channel,” said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer for NBC Olympics and Golf Channel. “Our NBC Sports team includes talented women at every level – both on camera and behind the scenes – who are essential to making our coverage a success across all platforms, and we are honored to celebrate their work in the part of this show. “
Earlier this year, former Golf Channel employee Lisa Cornwell caused a stir when she aired allegations of abuse by Golf Channel executives on the No Laying Up podcast, which led to a report from the Washington Post in which women who worked for the network said sexism fuels a “boys.” “club” culture.
In March 2020, NBC Sports presented the first all-female broadcast of an NHL game. Earlier this year, Rene Hatlelid then became the first woman to produce the Indianapolis 500 on NBC. Lindsay Schanzer also became the first woman to produce a Triple Crown race, directing NBC Sports’ Preakness and Belmont Stakes productions on NBC.