The Masters New Lead Producer Looks To Continue Tradition of CBS Sports Coverage; Drones, FlyCam Return

Veteran Sellers Shy takes the chair in the main truck

Beginning Thursday, The Masters tournament will be held for the second time in five months, and its coverage will feature some of the tech toys that made their debut last November. But it will also begin a new chapter in CBS Sports’ coverage of the tournament when Lead Producer Sellers Shy replaces Lance Barrow, who retired after last year’s event.

The Masters will see the return of a limited number of fans this week.

“This is the first tournament that Sellers Shy will be in the chair in the main truck,” says CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. “Sellers has been in the truck in some capacity since 1997, so he is well-positioned and ready to continue the great legacy set by Frank Chirkinian and Lance Barrow. So we are set to go.”

Last November’s Masters, postponed due to the pandemic, looked very different, thanks to the colors of the fall foliage, the lack of azaleas, and, of course, the absence of fans. This week, the azaleas and spring foliage that are a tradition at the event are in full bloom, and some of the crowds will be back, along with broadcast technologies deployed last fall. Drones, for example, will be back, and Sellers says the excitement caused by the use of drones and RF jibs was undeniable last November.

“Stay tuned for a similar presentation with slight enhancements around those core technology pieces,” he says. “I plan on a very similar presentation from the visual aspect [to what was seen in November].”

A lot of lessons were learned last year as the lack of fans gave the production team more freedom, McManus says. “We were able to use live drone coverage, which gave the viewers a look at the course and Augusta National in a way that had never been seen before. We’ll have those drones back again.”

FlyCam, which McManus says gave a unique view of the 15th green and 16th hole, also is returning. CBS Sports is exploring the possibility of a FlyCam on the 12th hole.

“One other thing we will have this year is the Venice handheld camera,” he adds. “It gives a cinematic feel to golfers walking from the practice putting green to the first tee and other shots around the clubhouse. So that’s going to give a very dramatic look to our coverage.

“We did the event in November last year under very different conditions,” McManus continues. “This is also the second Masters we’re producing in the pandemic. That makes the production more complicated, but the system that we have in place and the protocols and procedures we have in place certainly protect our crew.”

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