PGA.com Enhances PGA Championship at Home, on the Go, and Even at the Course
While Turner Sports is co-producing the linear-television production of this weekend’s PGA Championship with CBS Sports, the Turner digital team is hard at work creating a fully immersive multiscreen experience for those looking to get everything they can out of the last golf major of the year.
PGA.com is offering complete online simulcast coverage of the PGA Championship while also presenting its own exclusive live video and content through fully produced Marquee Groups, plus the use of Periscope and SnappyTV. In addition, there’s a bevy of statistical and informational enhancements — including Bluetooth Beacon technology for on-the-course users — to complement the viewing experience.
“I think it’s the unique nature of golf because it covers so much geography, unlike other sports, where the fan can see the entire field or court,” says Gary Treator, GM, PGA.com. “Golf is spread out over 200 acres; there’s a lot happening that doesn’t make it to air. So our challenge is how do we bring a great, immersive video experience to the fans but also provide context of what’s going on around the course.”
For PGA.com, Turner Sports has its TS2 mobile unit in the compound, producing completely original Featured Group coverage using Turner and CBS camera sources in place on the course for the linear production later in the day and the weekend. The digital team also has three of its own RF cameras following the active marquee group throughout the day.
“It’s a great complementary, second-screen experience,” says Treator. “We want to provide the fan an immersive experience that offers the opportunity to watch everything that happens between the shots.”
Turner is also taking its first major steps with the live-streaming app Periscope. The PGA.com Periscope account offers a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament throughout the week, including a peek into TNT and PGA.com’s extensive productions. The account began sending out content even earlier in the week at the practice rounds and the long-drive competition.
“We are looking to bring a higher production quality to Periscope that is different from what you would typically see there,” says Treator. “We’ll be using our PGA.com talent, improved audio. We haven’t really seen a lot of people do that yet.”
In what it’s calling its “Minute-by-Minute” offering, fans can follow rapidly updated coverage from content creators scattered across the course with key moments, social pictures, videos, Vines, and discussion on the PGA.com Website, mobile Web, and mobile apps.
Turner is also looking to significantly bolster the live spectator experience with the PGA Championship app, thanks to the help of Smart Bluetooth Beacon technology. In what it’s calling “Binoculars,” the tech will allow fans to easily identify player groups in close proximity to their location on the course. Fans onsite will be able to use all the app’s features, thanks to expanded on-course WiFi for better connectivity and access to digital content.
Viewers will also be able to view a simulcast of the broadcast coverage via PGA.com. TNT’s coverage will require TV Everywhere authentication, but CBS’s coverage on Saturday and Sunday will not require a log-in.
PGA Championship LIVE’s Marquee Group coverage will be hosted by play-by-play announcer Brian Katrek and analyst Michael Breed, alongside course reporters Ted Tryba and Fred Albers.