At the very least, PGA Championship golf will be on more than 24 hours this weekend, marathon telecasts on TBS yesterday and today (noon-6 p.m.) being followed by 11 a.m.-1 p.m. bursts on the cable and 1:30-6 p.m. filibusters tomorrow and Sunday on CBS. That's about the sum total of air time hockey has received since sports first made it on the tube in 1939.
With a slovenly 76 yesterday, defending champ John Daly is in dire straits as far as making the cut is concerned and his absence will create a substantial hole in the network's planned coverage.
Since the Masters, Nick Faldo has finished 3-2-8-4-1-4-3-1-1, including taking the British Open. Any reason to ask why he's favored to win at 6-to-1 odds?
Meanwhile, the LPGA also has a "major" slated this weekend, the du Maurier Classic, but it's getting just two-hour stints (3 p.m.) on Prime Network (HTS) tomorrow and Sunday . . . out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, no less (the sponsor is a Canadian company). Now if they had a player like Daly that television could sink its teeth into, chances are it would be on a network.
* Todd Christensen, fresh from the Olympics, will be one of the voices on the "NFL Quarterback Challenge" show NBC is sending along tomorrow and Sunday starting at 4 p.m. He calls it "the football version of the 'Skins Game,' a contrived-for-TV deal," although he admits to having a good time during taping in Hawaii.
Enjoyable, Todd pointed out, until he sat down with one of the participants and the guy said, " 'They've got to hold this on the East Coast some year. The flight out here is awfully long.' Are you kidding me? Here's this millionaire basking in Hawaii and picking up big dough playing 'Hitting golf carts for dollars' and he's complaining?' "
Channel 2 will carry the first segment tomorrow but is dumping the conclusion Sunday to make way for an Orioles game in Kansas City. Perhaps Brooks Robinson will let us know how the competition came out during the O's game.
Actually, it will be Christensen wall-to-wall on the weekend since he's doing color on NBC's Redskins-49ers game from London Sunday (1 p.m.) . . . As of yesterday, not a single line on the football game had shown up in any of the London dailies. So much for that country being bonkers over the American game . . . The rest of the NHL exhibition slate has the Dolphins and Broncos on NBC (1 p.m.) and the Giants and Browns on CBS (8 p.m.) tomorrow.
* Another cable outfit, Prestige in Carroll County, has decided to join the endless parade of systems sending along Home Team Sports and Orioles games to its customers as part of basic
service or for a nominal charge.Still no word yet if Comcast or United Artists even plan on doing likewise.
* American Movie Classics has commissioned the producers of the widely acclaimed "When It Was A Game" shows on HBO, Black Canyon Productions, to do an hour documentary entitled "Diamonds on the Silver Screen" for showing just before the World Series Oct. 15.
A segment is being shot at Camden Yards today,director-producer Barry Levinson being on hand to talk about his "The Natural." The show should be a spellbinder considering baseball movies of late have become so much better than in the gee-whiz days.
* The Baltimore Spirit logo (that's indoor soccer), appearing on a bus near you soon, has what appears to be a ghost waving a banner. Only problem is the ghost sort of plants a fly-by-night concept in one's mind, doesn't it? The team has no radio contract yet, but could end up on an FM station.
* Consistently, Atlanta ranked last or close in the overnight ratings of the top 25 U.S. markets viewing the Barcelona Games. What this says about the city hosting the 1996 Summer 'f Olympics isn't clear . . . An added feature of the Julio Cesar Chavez-Macho Camacho fight on pay-per-view Sept. 12 is subscribers can order up either English or Spanish announcers . . . Going against the Olympics, CBS got a better rating with the recent Greater Hartford golf tourney than it did last year. This is pretty good indication of the quality of NBC's weekend afternoon offerings from Barcelona.
* Don't bet chessmen Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky will be doing a replay of their famed world championship match 20 years ago in Iceland as has been rumored of late. If it does happen, however, rest assured pay-per-view will be there.
Speaking of PPV, the charge for the Martina Navratilova-Jimmy Connors tennis match from Las Vegas Sept. 25 is $25. And it's all but agreed that the main problem with the Olympic TripleCast was it was overpriced.
* Times are really tough at the all-sports station in Philadelphia, WIP. No sooner did yakmasters Tom Brookshier, Bill Campbell and Howard Eskin take off when the former flagship station of the Eagles was informed four of its working credentials were being lifted by the football team.
Reprisals for being critical, scream the disenfranchised. "The credentials weren't being used," countered the club, perhaps forgetting the pre-game shows the station used to do from the parking lot on game days.
Speaking of Philly, obviously ex-Eagles coach and charm school instructor Buddy Ryan overstayed his welcome with the CNN NFL Preview show, ex-Colts coach Ron Meyer taking his place for this season beginning Sunday at noon.
* The news release said, "Football season is coming . . . and so is Fascan." This is a roundabout way of letting Baltimore know that a huge new crane is coming to the harbor, which has nothing to do with sports unless, of course, the crane is to be used for bungee-jumping.
* "From the time I took this job [as president of NBC Sports]," said Dick Ebersol, "I said this would be a storyteller's Olympics, and that's what we did."
But, Dick, you stuck to too many pre-determined and usual tired stories of injury and heartbreak, which maybe served the female audience, but . . .
* Pssst, one of the semifinal games of the Arena Football playoffs goes on ESPN tomorrow at midnight. Pass it on . . . Still more than 1,400 days to go until the XXVIth Olympiad in Atlanta and I'm already up to here with the mascot "Whatizit."