PGA Tour on CBS
|The PGA Tour on CBS|
|Created by||CBS Sports|
|Starring||List of PGA Tour on CBS commentators|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||n/a|
|Running time||180 minutes or until tournament ends|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||1956 (The Masters)
1970 (PGA Tour) – present
In January 2006, the PGA Tour announced a new set of television deals covering 2007 to 2012. CBS Sports will remain the main carrier of PGA Tour golf (which has been the case since 1970), and would increase its events from 16 to 19 per season. CBS also holds broadcast television rights to the two of the four majors, the Masters Tournament and PGA Championship. CBS has long-term deals for the PGA Championship (initially from 1958-1964 and again starting in 1991). Meanwhile, the Masters operates under one-year contracts; CBS has been the main TV partner every year since 1956.
Frank Chirkinian was known as the 'father of televised golf' for the impact he had on golf broadcasting. He came to the attention of CBS after he impressed with his direction of the 1958 PGA Championship. Recruited by the network, who had no one with expertise in the relatively new field of golf broadcasting, he went on to be executive producer of CBS's golf coverage from 1959 until 1996. During his time at CBS, he was nicknamed 'The Ayatollah' for his brusque, uncompromising approach to directing broadcasts. Chirkinian was particularly well regarded for the coverage of the Masters Tournament that he oversaw for four decades, working closely with the management of Augusta National to ensure they were satisfied. Following his retirement, he remained a consultant to CBS for golf coverage.
Chirkinian was responsible for a number of innovations in the television presentation of golf. He ensured as many microphones as possible were placed around the golf course to pick up the sounds of the tournament and golfers' conversations, rather than having commentators talk over silent footage. He showed as many golf shots as possible, cutting quickly from player to player to keep up the pace of the broadcast, unafraid of focusing on the game's stars. The use of multiple cameras was introduced during Chirkinian's tenure, including high-angle cameras mounted in trees and on blimps for the first time. Chirkinian said that he was most proud of being the first to display golfers' scores relative to par, rather than cumulatively, making it simpler to work out how they were faring relative to the rest of the field. Most of all, Chirkinian thought it important to allow coverage to focus on golfers and the shots they made, and was critical of recent innovations in golf broadcasting that he saw as distracting and unnecessary.
Since 2004, most of CBS's golf broadcasts have featured super slow motion video of golfers' shots from the "Konica Minolta SwingVision" camera. The camera is actually provided by Tech Imaging Services, not Konica Minolta, which merely sponsors the feature to promote its Bizhub line of printers. (Konica Minolta was previously well known as a still-image camera manufacturer but sold that product line to Sony in 2006.)
As previously mentioned, CBS has televised the Masters Tournament in the United States every year since 1956, when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Tournament coverage of the first 8 holes did not begin until 1993 because of resistance from the tournament organizers, 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. Ironically, USA is now co-owned with CBS rival NBC.
In 2005, CBS broadcast the tournament with high-definition fixed and handheld wired cameras, as well as standard-definition wireless handheld cameras. In 2007, CBS 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. 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.
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). Announcers who have been deemed not to have acted with the decorum expected by the club have been removed, notably Jack Whitaker and analyst Gary McCord. Whitaker referred to the gallery at the end of the 18-hole Monday playoff in 1966 as a "mob" and missed five years (1967–1971); McCord last worked on the Masters telecast in 1994, banned that summer after using the terms "bikini wax" and "body bags" in his descriptions. There also tends to be a lack of discussion of any controversy involving Augusta National, such as the 2003 Martha Burk protests. However, there have not been many other major issues in recent years.
Augusta National regulations
As Augusta National Golf Club has its own television contract with CBS, and is separate from the PGA Tour, the contract carries different regulations than other tournaments.
Commercial interruptions are restricted compared to most television programming. A typical hour of television in daytime or primetime carries 38 minutes of programming and 22 minutes of commercials. Augusta limits commercials to four minutes per hour (as opposed to the usual 12 or more); this is subsidized by selling exclusive sponsorship packages to three companies. In the immediate aftermath of the Martha Burk controversy, there were no commercials during the 2003 and 2004 broadcasts, although international commercial broadcasters continued to insert their own commercials into the coverage. The Players Championship began imposing the same rule in 2007 and some of the other major championships have tried to follow suit in their most recent TV contracts (though The Open Championship has more commercials because of its pay-only status, where local commercials are mandatory).
The club also disallows promotions for other network programs, except an on-screen mention of 60 Minutes should the final round run long, or right before the coverage ends. Other broadcast material not allowed include sponsored graphics used in regular PGA Tour events, blimps and on-course announcers. There is also typically no cut-in for other news and sports, either from CBS or its affiliates. CBS uses "Augusta" by Dave Loggins as the event telecast's distinctive theme music.
Augusta National has placed significant restrictions on the tournament's broadcast hours compared to other major championships, perhaps to increase the tournament's Nielsen ratings, or to reward ticket-holders. Only in the 21st century did the tournament allow CBS to air 18-hole coverage of the leaders, a standard at the other three majors. Only three hours of cable coverage is scheduled for the early rounds each day (CBS has a highlights package aired Thursday and Friday nights). International broadcasters do not receive additional coverage, although they may take commercial breaks at different times from CBS or ESPN. As noted before, an additional hour of coverage each day is streamed online.
- Farmers Insurance Open
- AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
- Northern Trust Open
- Masters Tournament
- RBC Heritage
- Zurich Classic of New Orleans
- Wells Fargo Championship
- HP Byron Nelson Championship
- Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
- The Memorial Tournament
- FedEx St. Jude Classic
- Travelers Championship
- AT&T National
- Greenbrier Classic
- John Deere Classic
- RBC Canadian Open
- WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
- PGA Championship
- Wyndham Championship
- The Barclays (Playoffs) - Since the move to late August, the Barclays has traditionally closed CBS Sports' PGA Tour television schedule, due to the network's commitment to airing SEC College and NFL football during the fall months. Jim Nantz, who calls the final two rounds of the Barclays on television, is also (since 2004) CBS' lead NFL football announcer. It is unknown if CBS will add a second Playoff event in 2015 as the vacancy develops.
FedEx Cup - Alternated with NBC in Special Instances
- Waste Management Phoenix Open -- Except when CBS has the Super Bowl
- WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship -- During Winter Olympic years
- The Shark Shootout, which began in 1989 as the RMCC Invitational, was originally broadcast in the United States by the USA Network and CBS, with USA broadcasting the first round on a tape-delayed basis, and CBS handling the second round live. Not all the country saw the final round live, as CBS' commitment to the NFL only allowed part of the country to see the round as it takes place, with the rest of the U.S. seeing the event beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. In 2007, the event was moved to December, and was broadcast live by both Golf Channel and NBC.
- CBS covered the Bob Hope Classic tournament in 2003.
CBS' PGA coverage has used several different pieces of music throughout its history. Since the mid-2000s, a Yanni composition, "Fanfare", has been the theme song. Past theme songs have included "Take It From The Top" by Earl Klugh (mid-1980s) and "St. Ives Theme" by Lalo Schifrin (late 1970s-early 1980s). As with the Masters Tournament (see above), the PGA Championship uses its own distinct theme music, which has included "The Gift" by David Barrett and "Burlingame" by E.S. Posthumus. The PGA on CBS has also used "The Thrill of Victory" by E.S. Posthumus on its coverage including the Masters.
- Google Search - PGA Tour on CBS
- Google Search - Golf on CBS
- 2009 PGA Tournament Schedule
- August 2000 Tiger Woods outduels Bob May in the first three-hole playoff in PGA Championship history, seen by an estimated 38.5 million total viewers, the largest audience ever for a PGA Championship.
- "History of PGA Championship TV coverage (1958-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- 2000 CBS Sports celebrates its 50th year broadcasting golf, including the 45th consecutive appearance of The Masters.
- Steve Elling (March 4, 2011). "Father of golf broadcasting dies at 84". CBSSports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- John Boyette (March 4, 2011). "Masters Tournament golf broadcasting pioneer dies". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- Yocom, Guy (September 2003). "My Shot: Frank Chirkinian". Golf Digest. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- Johnson, Sal (March 5, 2011). "Story of the day for March 5th, remembering Frank Chirkinian". GolfObserver.com. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- Konica Minolta (2007-01-26). "Konica Minolta Strengthens Sports Marketing Commitment as a Key Element of Brand Building Effort". Retrieved 2013-04-21. "'We are delighted to have KONICA MINOLTA back as the sponsor of the "KONICA MINOLTA bizhub SwingVision" for a fourth consecutive year,' said Tony Petitti, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer, CBS Sports."
- Sandomir, Richard (2005-08-13). "With SwingVision, CBS Can Tell Good From Bad". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- Konica Minolta Photo Imaging. "Notification of the Camera, Photographic and Processing Products, Binoculars.". Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- "History of the Masters golf tournament on TV (1956-present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "CBS issues error-filled press release on historic Masters TV announcers". Classic Sports TV and Media. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- McDonald, Tim. "Is the Masters really the most prestigious sporting event in America?". WorldGolf.com. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
- "Hinds, Richard (April 5, 2007). "Why coverage of US Masters is so polite". The Age. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
- Martzke, Rudy (April 13, 2003). "CBS managed to get Masters right despite silence on protests". USA Today. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
- Rothenberg, Fred (April 12, 1979). "Jack Whitaker's welcome now". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. p. 2B.
- "McCord wants Masters return". Rome News-Tribune (Rome, GA). Associated Press. September 9, 1994. p. 5B.
- "Quick Note on CBS PGA Championship Theme Music". jschil.wordpress.com. August 15, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
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