SBD/Issue 135/Sports Media

90 Minutes Of Coverage Added To This Year’s Masters

CBS Celebrating Fiftieth Consecutive
Year Of Airing The Masters
TV coverage of The Masters will increase by 90 minutes this year, as USA Network will extend live coverage today and tomorrow by 30 minutes, and CBS will add 30 minutes of third-round coverage Saturday (N.Y. TIMES, 4/7). In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein writes, “Despite the extra time, CBS will do little to remind viewers of its 50th anniversary” covering the event. CBS Sports President Sean McManus said, “The story is the golf tournament, and we don’t want to overshadow that” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/7).

PICTURE THIS: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand noted CBS will have nine announcers and “more than 50 cameras” present at The Masters. CBS will “debut an unmanned ‘Robo-Camera’ which CBS used on football but not golf above a creek at the 13th hole” (USA TODAY, 4/6). In Denver, Dick Kreck notes CBS is using 42 HD and ten hand-held cameras to cover the tournament (DENVER POST, 4/7).

TALENT: GOLFWORLD’s Stu Schneider reports CBS is “bringing back Pat Summerall, who did 26 Masters telecasts for the network, to do the ‘billboards’ introducing the coverage.” Also, CBS’ Peter Kostis, whose contract with USA was not renewed before the ’04 Ryder Cup, will return to USA at The Masters “as part of his CBS gig” (GOLFWORLD, 4/8 issue).

GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY? In Richmond, Jerry Lindquist reports that in a teleconference Monday, McManus was asked about CBS’ association with The Masters and “bowing down to the Green Jackets to keep the event at all costs.” McManus: “I’ve been in this job for eight years. I promise you, I’ve never had one discussion with one announcer or production person saying how they should or shouldn’t talk about Augusta National.” He was then asked, “Have there been times when you’ve backed off the news angle to make it more palatable to Augusta National?” McManus: “The answer is no” (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 4/7). Meanwhile, USA TODAY’s Hiestand noted that CBS’ Jack Whitaker referring to The Masters gallery as a “mob” several years ago “prompt[ed] Augusta to remove him from CBS’ coverage.” Also, when CBS analyst Gary McCord said the greens had a “bikini wax” and shots landed like “body bags” in ’94, “he too was pulled” (USA TODAY, 4/6).

PROPER TREATMENT: In an in-depth interview with Jim Nantz, GOLF DIGEST’s Craig Bestrom asks, “Why at Augusta in 2003, when Martha Burk had created such a firestorm of controversy ... did you not say a word about it during CBS’ coverage?” Nantz: “Who had it wrong? CBS or the mainstream media? Was the amount of coverage commensurate with what happened at Augusta? There were 38 stories written in The New York Times from when that issue first surfaced until the Masters.” Bestrom: “Did The New York Times have it wrong?” Nantz: “I don’t know; they dedicated 38 stories to it. I know that she had seven protesters out there with her in the end who were not paid” (GOLF DIGEST, 4/5 issue).

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CBS, Golf, Media, Viacom

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