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British Open 2016 viewing guide: Coverage schedule and how to watch live online from Royal Troon

Big changes come to the oldest major championship in golf, as NBC and Golf Channel take over and expand the broadcast from the first tee shot until the finish of the 145th Open Championship.

After a year on the bench, NBC returns to major championship golf and for the first time ever, its sister network (Golf Channel) will also join the major party. The Open Championship moves from its longtime American broadcast partner (ABC and ESPN) over to the network that covers the game more than anyone else. They've never had an Open, however, and that means we'll get some familiar faces in a new spot. Scotland, here comes Johnny Miller.

Miller and Dan Hicks are the longest-running duo in golf, and now they'll have The Open for the next four days, with NBC newcomer Mike Tirico also joining in as the "host" in his debut with the peacock. Miller may make mention of that 63 he shot at Oakmont when he won the 1973 U.S. Open a month before he came in second to Tom Weiskopf in the British at Royal Troon, site of this week’s third major on the men’s docket. To wit, this from last week’s teleconference in advance of the tilt that starts Thursday in Scotland:

"I have great memories from Royal Troon. I won the U.S. Open at Oakmont in '73 and Tom Weiskopf after two rounds really spread open the field in really tough, rainy conditions," said Miller, lead analyst for NBC Sports' inaugural Open coverage. "Had a good chance to win there and looking forward to coming back."

There’s no doubt that Miller can be a lightning rod, but he is unafraid to speak his mind or give you his candid, straight analysis. Love him or hate him, golf fans know they’ll get nothing less than Johnny’s unvarnished opinions about how the favorites -- Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy -- fare on the links course (can’t wait to hear the two-time major champ’s take on McIlroy’s "screw the Olympics" drama). Miller, for his part, looks forward to NBC making it into the Open rota following a Johnny-less 2015 major season.

"It's a heck of a year for ... the whole [NBC] team. I mean, in a short amount of time, we just finished The Players, got The Open, got the Olympics and Ryder Cup. So this is just the big cherry on top," said Miller.

His colleagues seem giddy as hell to be joining the 1976 British winner, who had been the voice of the U.S. Open for 20 years before Fox Sports launched its 12-year stint in 2015. With ESPN cutting down its golf coverage, NBC began its long-term relationship with the R&A a year earlier than expected -- the original contracts called for the switch to happen next year, but a side deal was worked out to have NBC/GC take over now. They then signed Tirico from the World Wide Leader for a wide array of duties, the first of which is to host the Open telecast -- his old role at ESPN.

"I can't tell you how excited everybody at Golf Channel, NBC is to do our first [Open Championship]. After 145 years of this championship, we get to do our first one," Dan Hicks said during the conference call.

"And to do it with Johnny, who obviously is Open champion in his own right, after doing 20 years of the U.S. Open, sitting alongside him and hearing the passion that he has for that championship," gushed Hicks."To be able to at this point in our careers to have this opportunity and privilege to do the oldest championship in golf, I cannot tell you how special it is for us, for the crew, for everybody."

The Open's move to NBC and Golf Channel also brings veteran producer Tommy Roy back to major championship golf. Roy plans to keep his tradition of showing every single player in the 156-man field at least once over the next four days.

In addition to the new broadcast partner, the coverage window is also expanding this year. This is Golf Channel's first foray into major championship golf, and they will go live right from Colin Montgomerie's first tee shot. The broadcast used to come on the air about 4 a.m. ET for the first two rounds, but Golf Channel will start an almost 13-hour march at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. It's the first time a major will be broadcast from the first tee shot until the conclusion on Sunday afternoon.

So, welcome back, Johnny. We’re sure we’ll enjoy all your opining over the nearly 50 hours of live tourney action and some 60 hours of wall-to-wall news coverage Golf Channel and NBC will deliver over the next four days.

On top of all that TV coverage, there will also be four separate live streams up and running during championship play. We'll get the usual "featured holes" and "marquee groups" streams that we see at most majors and big events. But there's also a "First Tee" stream running all four days as the entire field goes through the traditional one-tee start at Royal Troon. And of course, there will be the simulcast stream of the TV broadcast running during that entire 50-hour marathon. Here are all your options for the week (ALL TIMES EASTERN):

Thursday's first round coverage

Television:

1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel

Online streams:

1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel broadcast simulcast stream

1:30-11:30 a.m. -- "First Tee" stream

3 a.m.-1:30 p.m. -- Featured holes stream, Nos. 6 to 8 (famous Postage Stamp par-3)

Marquee group stream

  • 4:03 a.m. -- Jordan Spieth/ Justin Rose / Shane Lowry
  • 9:15 a.m. -- Zach Johnson/ Adam Scott / Henrik Stenson
  • Radio:

    3 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio (Ch. 92/208)

    Friday's second round coverage

    Television:

    1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel

    Online streams:

    1:30 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Golf Channel broadcast simulcast stream

    1:30-11:30 a.m. -- "First Tee" stream

    3 a.m.-1:30 p.m. -- Featured holes stream, Nos. 6 to 8 (famous Postage Stamp par-3)

    Marquee group stream

  • 4:03 a.m. -- Dustin Johnson / Martin Kaymer / Russell Knox
  • 9:26 a.m. -- Danny Willett / Rickie Fowler / Jason Day
  • Radio:

    3 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio (Ch. 92/208)

    Saturday's third round coverage

    Television:

    4-7 a.m. -- Golf Channel

    7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. -- NBC

    Online streams:

    4 a.m.-2:30 p.m. -- Golf Channel broadcast simulcast stream

    4-9:30 a.m. -- "First Tee" stream

    4 a.m. -- Featured holes stream

    Marquee groups stream

  • 3:55 a.m. -- Jordan Spieth / Brandt Snedeker
  • TBD 2nd group from the afternoon to be picked up on stream
  • Radio:

    4 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio (Ch. 92/208)

    Sunday's final round coverage

    Television:

    4-7 a.m. -- Golf Channel

    7 a.m.-2 p.m. -- NBC

    Online streams:

    4 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Golf Channel broadcast simulcast stream

    4-9:30 a.m. -- "First Tee" stream

    TBD -- Featured holes stream

    Marquee groups stream

  • TBD
  • Radio:

    3 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio (Ch. 92/208)

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    Royal Troon's Postage Stamp Hole