CBS Sports’ PGA Championship Production Plans Include Drones, Fly Cams, 4DReplay, and Sony Hawkeye
CBS Sports is set to broadcast the PGA Championship for the 30th consecutive year, live from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, CA, as the network will showcase the 102nd PGA Championship in primetime on Saturday, Aug. 8 (4:00-10:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, Aug. 9 (3:00-9:00 PM, ET), marking the first major of the rescheduled 2020 golf season.
This is the first year of the historic, 11-year partnership among the PGA of America, CBS Sports, and ESPN. CBS and ESPN will partner to provide live, full-field, wire-to-wire coverage for the first time ever during the PGA Championship. CBS Sports, working closely with ESPN, will lead the production efforts with the health and safety of all involved paramount. CBS Sports led the industry in returning to golf coverage in June and will follow similar protocols and plans – on a larger scale – for the broadcast of the first major championship event since sports resumed.
The production plan will utilize remote and on-course technology to minimize travel and reduce the onsite footprint to maximize social distancing. In addition to Harding Park, there will be members of the team working remotely from California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Maine, Colorado, and New Zealand. Moreover, besides reducing on-site personnel, the plan will promote greater social distancing by adding television mobile units to limit the number of people in each one and reconfiguring the trucks to provide more space and physical barriers.
Many of the production elements, including most of Toptracer and ARL, editing, video shading, multiple replay devices – including four new multichannel Hawkeye systems – and editorial support, will come from these remote locations.
CBS Sports’ comprehensive coverage across its broadcast, cable and digital platforms will also feature the below innovative enhancements to deliver viewers an unequaled viewing experience:
- Live Drone Coverage – CBS will have multiple state-of-the-art drones as a live camera source for coverage of TPC Harding Park, providing unique views during live action.
- Fly Cam – CBS will utilize Fly Cams that stretch nearly 700 feet and oscillate up and down to provide a fresh perspective and angle on the practice range.
- 4D Replay – CBS will bring back 4D Replay on the 14th hole. Introduced for the first time on a U.S. golf broadcast at the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive, an array of 4D cameras border the tee box to offer a 180-degree look around the player to provide a thorough breakdown of a players’ swing.
- Toptracer – CBS will use Toptracer broadcast technology on all 18 holes, using 3D radar tracking to provide the viewer with a true sense of distance, height, curvature and more. Tracing live tee shots on various holes showing the apex, ball speed, distance and curve will once again be staples of this technology.
- Toptracer RF – Toptracer will outfit three RF mini cameras in order to provide ball tracking graphics and statistics on a player’s second shot from the fairway anywhere on the course.
- ARL Virtual Eye – Virtual Eye technology returns this year with increased coverage on all holes (except the par 3s). Virtual Eye uses Toptracer ball tracing capabilities on tee shots within a 3D hole model while simultaneously showing the golfer hit his shots from the tee. Virtual flyover animations also return, giving a second shot perspective once the ball comes to rest, including GolfTrax information providing key statistical information for both individual players and holes.
- SwingVision – CBS returns its Emmy Award-winning technical innovation, SwingVision. Featuring super-slow action to break down players’ swings and demonstrate shots from various parts of the course, there will be two SwingVisions deployed to capture twice as many dramatic replays of golfer shots.
- EVS Replay – More than 225 channels of EVS replay will be on-site to record all of the camera sources and replays when required.
- Sony Hawkeye – Sony Hawkeye Replay servers will aid the broadcast, and for the first time, operators’ will contribute to replay coverage remotely.
For the 30th consecutive year, Jim Nantz, CBS Sports golf anchor, will host the network’s coverage from the 18th tower, joined by lead analyst Sir Nick Faldo. Ian Baker-Finch will call the action from the 17th hole and Frank Nobilo at the 16th hole; with Dottie Pepper, Mark Immelman, and Trevor Immelman serving as on-course reporters. Amanda Balionis will handle interviews.
Additionally, CBS will provide week-long coverage of the event across CBS Sports Network, CBS All Access, CBS Sports HQ, and CBSSports.com.
CBS Sports Network will air PGA Championship Clubhouse Report live after the conclusion of play, Thursday through Sunday, with highlights, analysis, and player interviews. Kelly Tilghman hosts from Harding Park along with analysts Colt Knost and Rich Beem, and select guests. PGA Championship Clubhouse Report will be produced remotely from Stamford, CT.
CBS Sports Network will also showcase encore replays of CBS Sports’ third and final-round broadcasts of the 2020 PGA Championship, as well as archives and other programming in the week leading up to the 102nd PGA Championship looking back at the most memorable moments in the history of the event, including the 2019 final round.
CBS Sports’ broadcast coverage will be available to stream live on the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional content throughout the week and weekend on the CBS Sports HQ streaming sports news network, CBSSports.com, and The First Cut podcast, as well as on CBS Sports social handles.