I've heard this several times in the past few weeks, it is driving me nuts! I remember hearing this regularly during football broadcasts a few years ago (on Directv and cable) but I hadn't heard it for quite a while.
Some people say it is audio compression artifacts, others say it is digital watermarking (copy protection or stuff that things like Nielsen and Shazam use to determine what you're watching, though I thought that was not supposed to be audible)
Anyone know if this originates at the network, or if this is something Directv is causing? If the latter, who do we complain to. It is constant every few seconds in the Golf Channel broadcast going on right now!