List of Masters Tournament broadcasters Information

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CBS has televised the Masters in the United States every year since 1956, [1] [2] when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Tournament coverage of the first eight holes did not begin until 1995 because of resistance from the tournament organizers, but by 2007, more than 50 cameras were used. Chairman Jack Stephens felt that the back nine was always more "compelling", increased coverage would increase the need for sponsorship spending, and that broadcasting the front nine of the course on television would cut down on attendance and television viewership for the tournament. [1] [3] [4] USA Network added first- and second-round coverage in 1982. [5] The Masters has been broadcast every year in high-definition television since 2000, one of the first golf tournaments to ever hold that distinction.[ citation needed] In 2008, ESPN replaced USA as broadcaster of early-round coverage. These broadcasts use the CBS Sports production staff and commentators, although then-ESPN personality Mike Tirico previously served as a studio host (replacing Bill Macatee's role under USA Network). [6] [5]

Coverage overview

CBS (1956-present)

As previously mentioned, CBS has televised the Masters Tournament in the United States every year since 1956, [7] [8] when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Because of resistance from the tournament organizers, 18 hole coverage did not begin until 2002 (coverage generally joining with the final group on the fifth or sixth hole all four days), but by 2006, over 50 cameras were used. USA Network added first- and second-round coverage in 1982, which was also produced by the CBS production team.

The previously independent USA Sports became part of NBC Sports through NBCUniversal in 2005, meaning the cable and network coverage of the Masters was split between rival companies. However, USA continued to use its own graphics for sports, and CBS continued to produce their coverage of the Masters, an arrangement that lasted through 2007. ESPN, another rival of CBS Sports, took over in 2008. However, ESPN uses CBS graphics and production with the CBS logo.

In 2007, CBS broadcast the tournament with high-definition fixed and handheld wired cameras, as well as standard-definition wireless handheld cameras. that same year, CBS also added "Masters Extra," an hour's extra full-field bonus coverage daily on the internet, preceding the television broadcasts. In 2008, CBS added full coverage of holes 15 and 16 live on the web.

While Augusta National Golf Club has consistently chosen CBS as its U.S. broadcast partner, it has done so on successive one-year contracts. [9] Due to the lack of long-term contractual security, as well as the club's limited dependence on broadcast rights fees (owing to its affluent membership), it is widely held that CBS allows Augusta National greater control over the content of the broadcast, or at least perform some form of self-censorship, in order to maintain future rights. The club, however, has insisted it does not make any demands with respect to the content of the broadcast. [10] [11]

There are some controversial aspects to this relationship. Announcers refer to the gallery as "patrons" rather than spectators or fans ("gallery" itself is also used), and use the term "second cut" instead of " rough" (however, the second cut is normally substantially shorter than comparable "primary rough" at other courses). [10] Announcers who have been deemed not to have acted with the decorum expected by the club have been removed, notably Jack Whitaker [12] and analyst Gary McCord. [10] Whitaker referred to the gallery at the end of the 18-hole Monday playoff in 1966 as a "mob" and missed five years ( 19671971); [12] McCord last worked on the Masters telecast in 1994, being banned that summer after using the terms bikini wax and body bags in his descriptions. [13] There also tends to be a lack of discussion of any controversy involving Augusta National, such as the 2003 Martha Burk protests. [11] However, there have not been many other major issues in recent years.

The final round of the 1994 Masters was the final on-air assignment for Pat Summerall on CBS Sports. CBS had lost the rights to the National Football Conference to Fox (where Summerall and his broadcasting colleague, John Madden would soon move over to) prior to the 1994 NFL season. But much like Vin Scully did in 1982 after calling his final NFL game (the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys), Pat Summerall stayed at CBS a couple more months so he could make the 1994 Masters his final broadcast for CBS, where he was a mainstay for over 30 years.

Summerall signed off the broadcast thus, surrounded by the other CBS commentators that were working the tournament:

USA Network (1982–2007)

The USA Network began first and second round Masters coverage in 1982, [14] [15] which was also produced by the CBS production team. This was the first ever cable coverage for one of the golf majors. Initially, the USA Network provided Thursday and Friday coverage for 2 hours live each day along with a prime time replay. In 1995, USA expanded the Thursday/Friday coverage to 2.5 hours each day. In 2003 and 2004, both CBS and USA televised the Masters commercial-free. In 2005, USA increased the Thursday/Friday coverage to 3 hours.

In early 2006, it was announced that USA was outbid by Golf Channel for its early-round PGA Tour rights, with USA's final season being 2006. NBC/Universal, parent company of USA Network, traded away the network's Ryder Cup coverage through 2012 to ESPN for the rights to sign Al Michaels. However, USA did renew its Masters contract for one final year. USA would televise the 2007 Masters before being outbid by ESPN. The 2007 Masters was also the final event for USA Sports, which was dissolved into parent NBC Sports after the tournament. All future sports telecasts on USA would use NBC's graphics and personalities.

ESPN (2008-present)

ESPN revamped its graphics and its coverage team in 2010 as well. Mike Tirico and Paul Azinger remained the lead booth announcers. Curtis Strange returned as a hole announcer, while Scott Van Pelt moved from the studio host position to become a hole announcer as well. Sean McDonough joined the coverage team as another hole announcer. Andy North, Judy Rankin and Bill Kratzert all returned as on-course reporters. Terry Gannon moved from a hole announcer role to the role of studio host during live coverage, for highlight updates. Tom Weiskopf, who had been a hole announcer, became an analyst for holes Van Pelt was assigned to, and was joined by Peter Alliss in this role for one hour per day at the Open Championship. At the Ryder Cup, Alliss took Van Pelt's place as a hole announcer, while Van Pelt and Weiskopf worked on the studio set. Tom Rinaldi remained the lead interviewer and essayist.

In 2011, Olin Browne joined as an additional on-course reporter. Alliss began to only appear as a guest at the Open Championship, still for one hour per day, and still working as Van Pelt's analyst. In 2012, Gannon's role was eliminated and he joined NBC Sports and the Golf Channel.

Several changes occurred in 2013. Dottie Pepper replaced Browne as an on-course reporter. Weiskopf was moved to a position in which he would appear once during the telecast to discuss the architecture of the course and how it would affect play, as he is a noted course designer.

The 2015 Open Championship was the final PGA Tour event covered by the Golf on ESPN team, nine years after first losing rights to the PGA Tour. the team did cover one more event, the LPGA's CME Group Tour Championship on November 22, 2015.

Early round coverage of The Masters Tournament continues to be aired by ESPN, however coverage is produced by CBS and uses CBS announcers and graphics.

International coverage

The BBC has broadcast the Masters in the UK since 1963, and it also provides live radio commentary on the closing stages on Radio Five Live. With the 2007 launch of BBC HD, UK viewers can now watch the championship in that format. BBC Sport held the TV and radio rights through to 2010. [16] The BBC's coverage airs without commercials because it is financed by a licence fee.

From the 2011 Masters, Sky Sports began broadcasting all four days, as well as the par 3 contest in HD and, for the first time ever, in 3D. The BBC will only have highlights of the first two days' play but will go head to head with Sky Sports, with full live coverage on the final two days of play. [17]

In Ireland, Setanta Ireland previously showed all four rounds, and now since 2017 Eir Sport broadcast all four rounds live having previously broadcast the opening two rounds with RTÉ broadcasting the weekend coverage. [18]

In Canada, broadcast rights to the Masters are held by Bell Media, with coverage divided between TSN (cable), which carries live simulcasts and primetime encores of CBS and ESPN coverage for all four rounds, CTV (broadcast), which simulcasts CBS's coverage of the weekend rounds, and RDS, which carries French-language coverage.

Prior to 2013, Canadian broadcast rights were held by a marketing company, Graham Sanborn Media, [19] which in turn bought time on the Global Television Network, TSN, and RDS (except for 2012 when French-language coverage aired on TVA and TVA Sports) to air the broadcasts, also selling all of the advertising for the Canadian broadcasts. This was an unusual arrangement in Canadian sports broadcasting, as in most cases broadcasters acquire their rights directly from the event organizers or through partnerships with international rightsholders, such as ESPN International (ESPN owns a 20% minority stake in TSN).

In 2013, Global and TSN began selling advertising directly, and jointly produced their own preview and highlights shows for Canadian audiences (while still carrying ESPN/CBS coverage for the tournament itself). [20] [21]

In Australia, the tournament has been broadcast live on the Nine Network since 2018.[ citation needed]



Announcer Years Network(s)
Bob Carpenter 1988- 1989 USA
Dick Enberg 2000- 2010 CBS
Frank Gifford 1969- 1971 CBS
Frank Glieber 1968- 1985 CBS
Henry Longhurst 1966- 1975 CBS
Verne Lundquist 1983- 2017 CBS
Bill Macatee 1990- 2007; 2008-present USA/ CBS
Jim McKay 1957- 1961 CBS
Brent Musburger 1983- 1989; 2008- 2016 CBS/ ESPN
Jim Nantz 1986-present CBS
Bud Palmer 1956 CBS
Chris Schenkel 1956- 1964 CBS
Ray Scott 1969- 1974 CBS
Vin Scully 1975- 1982 CBS
Pat Summerall 1968- 1994 CBS
Mike Tirico 2008- 2016 ESPN
Scott Van Pelt 2017-present ESPN
Jack Whitaker 1965- 1966 CBS


Announcer Years Network(s)
Nick Faldo 2007-present CBS
David Feherty 1997- 2015 CBS
Gary McCord 1986- 1994 CBS
Peter Oosterhuis 1997- 2014 CBS
Ken Venturi 1967- 2002 CBS
Lanny Wadkins 2003- 2006 CBS
Ben Wright 1973- 1995 CBS

On-course reporters

Announcer Years Network(s)
Dottie Pepper 2013-present ESPN/ CBS

See also


  1. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard (April 7, 1998). "CBS and the Masters Keep Business Simple". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  2. ^ Haggar, Jeff (April 9, 2013). "History of the Masters golf tournament on TV (1956-present)". Classic TV Sports.
  3. ^ Freeman, Denne H. (April 10, 1997). "Augusta's front nine cloaked in secrecy". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Chase, Chris (April 10, 2014). "Why isn't the Masters on TV all day?". USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Sandomir, Richard (October 11, 2007). "ESPN Replaces USA as Early-Round Home of the Masters". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "ESPN will show first two rounds of 2008 Masters tournament". ESPN. October 10, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Sports TV and Media "History of the Masters golf tournament on TV (1956-present)" Check |url= value ( help). April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "CBS issues error-filled press release on historic Masters TV announcers". Classic Sports TV and Media. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Tim McDonald. "Is the Masters really the most prestigious sporting event in America?". Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  10. ^ a b c Richard Hinds (April 5, 2007). "Why coverage of US Masters is so polite". The Age. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Rudy Martzke (April 13, 2003). "CBS managed to get Masters right despite silence on protests". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Fred Rothenberg (April 12, 1979). "Jack Whitaker's welcome now". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. p. 2B.
  13. ^ "McCord wants Masters return". Rome News-Tribune. Rome, Georgia. Associated Press. September 9, 1994. p. 5B.
  14. ^ Ratings For Each Round of The Masters Since '82 (First/Second Rounds Since '99)
  15. ^ "History of the Masters golf tournament on TV (1956-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  16. ^ "BBC Sport keeps Masters contract". BBC Sport. October 12, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ Corrigan, James (September 22, 2010). "Sky seizes share of the Masters from BBC". The Independent. London.
  18. ^ "We are fully committed to providing a public service – without public funding". Irish Independent. August 12, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  19. ^ Houston, William (April 10, 2008). "As usual, Woods is the star of Masters coverage". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  20. ^ Maloney, Val (April 10, 2013). "TSN and Global partner to sell The Masters". Media in Canada. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  21. ^ The Sports Network and Global Television Network (April 5, 2013). "TSN and Global Partner to Give Canadians Complete Coverage of The Masters". Retrieved April 10, 2013.

External links