CBS, Turner Sports Upgrading Technology, Mobile Experience For PGA Championship
CBS Sports is making a number of enhancements to its broadcast around the PGA Championship this week at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club. Included in the upgrades are that CBS will use “Trackman” 3-D technology on all 18 holes for the first time. It also will increase usage of “Toptracer,” which tracks players’ shots while in the air. Toptracer will not necessarily be used every hole, but on ones where “we think it presents itself well,” CBS Coordinating Producer Lance Barrow said. CBS also will implement the use of six bunker cams throughout the course, marking a change from recent years. Barrow said this is only the second time CBS will have used more than one bunker cam -- a practice commonly seen in pot bunkers during the Open Championship. “That’s not typical for us, but here they have some holes where those really make sense,” Barrow said. Coverage of Quail Hollow’s “Green Mile” -- the closing three holes on the course -- also will be available in 4K. The enhancements for this week’s tournament are not being made to impress the PGA, whose rights deal with CBS ends after the ’19 tournament, Barrow, who has been working CBS’ golf telecasts for 41 years, said. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but if CBS Sports, which has been doing golf since the '50s, has to show off, there’s something wrong with that. We do it for what we feel like is the best way to broadcast the golf tournament.”
BRAND NEW LOOK: Turner Sports has the exclusive rights to first- and second-round action, as well as early weekend play, and this week is broadening its video offerings online and expanding its mobile viewing experience. Turner runs and produces all content for PGA.com, where things such as featured groups coverage and highlights are housed. Turner’s video offerings are being quadrupled at Quail Hollow, Turner Senior Dir of Business Operations and PGA.com GM Gary Treater said. “In the last few years the way in which fan consume sports, particularly live events, is changing and has been evolving pretty dramatically,” Treater said. “We looked at this as an opportunity to build everything from scratch, take into account how people are changing.” Consumers this week will notice a revamped event home page, app and leaderboard page, which will feature video for the first time. A new “Roar Alerts” feature was also created for the app, sending push notifications to users with video content of big moments that happen on the course. The changes for Turner come due to consumers wanting more “snackable content,” Treater said. “It used to be that we would produce one piece of content and put it on all platforms. We still do that, but now we’re producing content specifically for different platforms as well as taking into account how the viewing patterns are different day to day or even morning to afternoon."