CBSSports.com Blends Technology With Tradition at Masters
Augusta National Golf Club may be one of the most old-fashioned and tradition-minded places on Earth, but this year’s coverage of the Masters on digital platforms is anything but. CBSSports.com and Masters.com are streaming more than 75 hours of live tournament coverage over four days and providing a wealth of highlights from each day’s action.
CBSSports.com features three channels of live coverage at Augusta: Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, and 13), holes 15 and 16, and a featured group on holes 10-18. Masters.com is offering an additional live channel that follows a second featured group, as well as a channel devoted to recaps throughout the day.
The Digital Presence at Augusta
CBS has deployed dedicated production teams, mobile units, and announcers for each Masters Live channel. The Amen Corner, 15 and 16, Featured Group 1, and Featured Group 2 each have their own director, producer, full crew, production truck, and announcers. Each unit shares the more than 100 cameras scattered throughout the course with primary broadcast feed and a variety of other productions, including international feeds and the DIRECTV mosaic feeds.
Announcers Ian Eagle and Matt Gogel are stationed at Amen Corner, Jerry Foltz and Billy Ray Brown at 15 and 16, and Andrew Catalon and Billy Kratzert at Featured Group 1.
New, Improved Video Player
The rebuilt Flash-based video player on CBSSports.com was built in-house and boasts increased resolution over the player used for the 2010 tournament. It streams adaptively over Akamai’s content-distribution network but can achieve bitrates as high 1.8 Mbps or 2.2 Mbps in full-screen mode. Users also have the option of setting the bitrate, if they prefer.
Besides improved video quality, CBS has added social-media widgets, including a Live Chat interface with other viewers and a “Check In” function that allows users to let their friends know which players they are rooting for via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace.
Users can also access a full leaderboard, track individual players, view hole-by-hole statistics, and monitor which players are on which of all 18 holes at any given time.
Highlights, History, and Aerials
In addition to three channels of live streaming, CBSSports.com will present a Masters Live Recap Show, hosted by Eagle and Gogel, at the conclusion of Saturday and Sunday’s television coverage. The show will be available live and on demand.
The CBS Sports postproduction team will also create comprehensive Daily Highlights packages for CBSSports.com that will be posted after the conclusion of each round. Highlights from Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest are already available. In addition, video highlights of player interviews conducted in Augusta National’s interview room will be made available as players complete their rounds each day.
One of the most storied sports venues in the world, Augusta National has served as the setting for countless classic moments over the years. More than two dozen of these memorable moments are available on demand in CBSSports.com’s Masters Moments section.
And the Flyovers section is populated with on-demand aerial flyover videos of all 18 holes of the golf court.