How to watch the 2014 U.S. Open online, TV coverage, radio and more

Scott Halleran

In stark contrast with the Masters, the USGA and U.S. Open welcome expanded TV coverage for people who want to watch their tournament. This year, however, will be the final year for traditional broadcast partner NBC, which has become a significant part of the event.

The USGA's return to a restored Pinehurst with its throwback setup is also the final time, in at least 12 years, that NBC and ESPN will carry the U.S. Open. It's a well-known bit of drama at this point, the USGA opting to sign up with FOX for around $1.2 billion over 12 years and ditch their longtime broadcast partner.

Moaning about the buffoonery of Chris Berman on Thursday and Friday, and the curmudgeonly Johnny Miller all four days has become one of the great pastimes of America's national championship. But next year we'll move on to the great unknowns of Joe Buck and Greg Norman calling golf on a network that has never done a broadcast of the sport.

There's little change to the schedule in these networks' final year, with all four days getting pretty much wall-to-wall coverage. Unlike the Masters, which restricts viewership in the name of some antediluvian tradition, the USGA has no qualms about letting fans watch their most prestigious championship. At Augusta, for example, there are large chunks of Tiger Woods' round on either of the first two days played in relative obscurity. At the U.S. Open, ESPN comes on the air by 9 a.m. ET for coverage of the first two rounds, and typically offers look-ins of any top players during SportsCenter if top players are on the course before that time. There's also a featured players stream that doesn't mess around and covers the top guys every hole each of the first two days.

Johnny Miller, or "Johnny" as he's simply known all week, certainly has his quirks, cliches, and terms of art that no one else uses. He loves to talk about how great he was during a bygone, more difficult era and never goes long without reminding us of that historic final round of 63 he shot at Oakmont to win the 1973 U.S. Open. There are certainly large aspects of his commentating that irritate large parts of the audience, but at least it's not boring and has turned into a pretty enjoyable and entertaining part of the event that you can count on (just have a little perspective about this). You're going to get outrageous standards that make you laugh, and also those unintentionally funny moments, such as when he got frisky with a Merion wicker basket last year.

I guess what I'm saying is, learn to laugh and love Johnny, especially in this final year. I've slowly come to appreciate Miller for a couple different reasons -- those unintentionally funny moments, his refusal to be a constant cheerleader, the over-the-top critiques, and genuinely expert insight that most others don't or can't offer. Plus, complaining about him gives us something more to talk about. Berman, on the other hand...

The USGA deal with FOX has been widely panned, in part because that network has never done golf, in part because of how the bidding was handled, and in part for how it was announced (a release the night before the start of the PGA Championship, generally considered a affronting attempt to steal that tournament's shine). The folks at the highest levels of the USGA who were most responsible for pushing for FOX are now gone, the so called "golf" faction winning out over the business and marketing-minded executives. What's done is done, however, and veteran NBC golf producer Tommy Roy has said they have something special planned for the final sign-off on Sunday.

In addition to the expanded TV coverage, you'll also have several options to watch America's national championship online. A simulcast of all the TV coverage will be streamed, either through the WatchESPN or NBCLiveExtra services. The USGA will also offer featured groups and featured holes streams at different times over the four-day tournament. There are fewer of those specialized streams than what the Masters offers, but the simulcasts more than makeup in terms of online offerings.

Here's the full media schedule for the week (All times ET):

Thursday's first round coverage

Television:

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- NBC

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- ESPN2

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- ESPN

Online streams:

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- WatchESPN simulcast

3 to 5 p.m. -- NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast

USOpen.com Featured Groups stream -- 7:51 a.m. (Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Matthew Fitzpatrick),  1:25 p.m. (Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott)

9 a.m. -- ESPN3 featured holes stream of Nos. 9 and 18

9 a.m. -- ESPN3 featured groups -- 7:40 a.m. (Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson), 1:47 p.m. (Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer)

1 p.m. -- Spanish language stream on ESPN3

Radio:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- ESPN Radio

Friday's second round coverage

Television:

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- ESPN

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- NBC

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. -- ESPN

Online streams:

3 to 5 p.m. -- NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast

USOpen.com Featured Groups stream -- 8:02 a.m. (Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer),  1:36 p.m. (Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Matthew Fitzpatrick)

9 a.m. -- ESPN3 live stream of Nos. 9 and 18

9 a.m. -- ESPN3 featured groups -- 7:40 a.m. (Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott), 1:47 p.m. (Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler)

1 p.m. -- Spanish language stream on ESPN3

Radio:

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- ESPN Radio

Saturday's third round coverage

Television:

Noon to 7:30 p.m. -- NBC

Online streams:

Noon to 7:30 p.m. -- NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast

Noon to conclusion -- USOpen.com featured holes (Nos. 9, 18)

Radio:

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- ESPN Radio

Sunday's final round coverage

Television:

Noon to 7:30 p.m. -- NBC

Online streams:

Noon to 7:30 p.m. -- NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast

Noon to conclusion -- USOpen.com featured holes (Nos. 9, 18)

Radio:

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 93/208)

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. -- ESPN Radio

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