CBS Sports Tees Up 95th PGA Championship
“The first hole at Oak Hill,” the legendary Ben Hogan was quoted as saying, “is the toughest opening test in golf.”
This weekend, 156 golfers have convened at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY, for the 95th PGA Championship, competing on the historic course, including the aforementioned tree-lined 460-yard Par 4. And for the 23rd consecutive year, CBS Sports will broadcast live coverage of the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking to the media the day after Tiger Woods clinched a victory in the Bridgestone Invitational, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said, “It’s always nice when you go into a major championship with some momentum. Obviously, the results over the weekend give us a lot of momentum.
“It’s always good when Tiger’s playing well, but [there are] also a lot of good storylines in the sport of golf,” he continued. “We’re excited to get up to Rochester. We’re very proud of our golf coverage, and we’re very proud of the fact that we’re the only network that has two major championships: we open up at Augusta, and we close the championship season at the PGA Championship every year … We’re looking forward to a really good tournament.”
Covering the Course From All Angles
Come Saturday, CBS Sports will have plenty of production tools at its disposal, many shared by TNT’s broadcast (TNT will broadcast 18 hours of exclusive live programming: 1-7 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday). With nearly 50 cameras on-site — more than double a non-championship golf broadcast — CBS Sports’ complement will include SwingVision, Protracer, and a remote-controlled helicopter camera.
SwingVision, a super-slo-mo camera, will be deployed to deliver point-of-view for swing analysis as well as to review specialty shots. Protracer, a high-resolution digital camera, will be set up behind a selected tee and track the ball in flight. A remote-controlled helicopter, new to CBS Sports’ broadcast, will provide specialty aerial shots of Oak Hill Country Club.
“We have a small helicopter out there that we’re able to get very low-angle shots coming in on the greens and the fairways,” said Harold Bryant, executive producer/VP, production, CBS Sports. “That’s something new that we’ve tried. We’ve got a lot of elements that we’ll be using throughout the week.”
There’s a Darkness
Casting a shadow over the weekend, however, is CBS’s ongoing battle with Time Warner Cable. CBS has been blacked out for Time Warner Cable subscribers, who are concentrated in Los Angeles, New York City, and Dallas but are spread throughout the country, since Aug. 2 while the two negotiate a retransmission deal.
“I don’t know what the prospects are because I’m not involved in the negotiations, but I do know that, in addition to all the great entertainment and news programming, we provide an awful lot of sports,” said McManus. “All we’re trying to do, quite frankly, is get paid fairly for the content that we’re delivering, both sports and non-sports … All I know is that were trying to get fair value for the content that we’re providing to viewers across the country.”
A Championship Line-Up
Prior to its live 18-hole coverage on Saturday and Sunday, CBS Sports broadcast highlights of early-round action with Bill Macatee and David Feherty on Thursday and Friday, following the Late Show With David Letterman.
For the second year, CBS Sports Network is on-site to complement the CBS broadcast, providing expanded coverage with PGA Championship Clubhouse Reports from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The live show includes highlights, analysis, and interviews. CBS Sports Network will also carry encore replays of CBS Sports’ third- and fourth-round coverage.
Jim Nantz, three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, will anchor the 95th PGA Championship, joined by lead golf analyst and six-time major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo and on-course reporter Feherty.
“You get in this business to do big events, and we’ve been fortunate at CBS to be able to do big events like the PGA Championship,” said Lance Barrow, coordinating producer of golf, CBS Sports. “We try to make it into another week of covering golf, but you know you’re at a major championship … You feel when you get on the ground, there’s more people, that you’re a part of something special.”