Starting next Wednesday, the annual rite of Spring, The Masters® takes place at the scenic Augusta National Country Club in Augusta, GA. For five days starting with the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 4 through to the Final Round on Sunday, April 8, we’ll hear the familiar “Augusta” theme that has accompanied CBS’ as well as USA Network’s and now ESPN’s coverage of The Masters®.
This year mark’s the fifth consecutive year that ESPN will air the Par 3 as well as the first two rounds of the tournament.
Instead of “fans”, we’ll hear about “Patrons.” Instead of the “rough,” announcers will describe the “second cut.” And instead of Gary McCord, we have nobody.
Anyway, ESPN will have extensive coverage of the PGA Tour’s first major of the year starting with the annual Par 3 contest on Wednesday, April 4 where the golfers will be able to “let down their hair” so to speak and have fun on the golf course.
Then ESPN will get its coverage going in earnest on Thursday, April 5 with the 1st round airing live at 3 p.m. ESPN 3D which about 17 people across the country can watch will have three hours of daily coverage from Thursday through Sunday.
Other ESPN platforms covering The Masters include ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN Deportes, ESPNews and ESPN International. To say ESPN has The Masters® is a huge understatement.
Live Play on WatchESPN; ESPN 3D Coverage Expands; SportsCenter Reports Start Monday
In its fifth year of live coverage of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, ESPN will air 4.5 hours of live Tournament play daily from the first two rounds, the traditional Par 3 Contest the day preceding the Tournament and 14 total hours of action on the ESPN 3D Network. Expansive news, information and analysis will appear on a variety of ESPN platforms in the U.S. and around the world, including television, radio, online and mobile devices.
ESPN and ESPN HD will air 4.5 hours of live first and second round action on Thursday, April 5, and Friday, April 6, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET with an edited encore presentation in prime time each night from 8-11 p.m. ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language U.S. sports network, also will televise the first and second rounds live from 3-7:30 p.m. and the ESPN 3D Network will air three hours of live play from the first two rounds each day starting at 4:30 p.m. as well as live play from the Saturday and Sunday rounds and the Par 3 Contest.
Prior to the live television windows Thursday and Friday, ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will air updates every 30 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. daily.
Mike Tirico will serve as host of ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts and will conduct player interviews from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin with analyst Curtis Strange. CBS will again produce the telecasts with CBS’ golf announce crew also contributing to the coverage. Paco Aleman and analyst Silvia Bertolaccini will present on ESPN Deportes with John Sutcliffe serving as the on-course reporter.
SportsCenter at the Masters
Live reports on SportsCenter from Augusta National Golf Club begin Monday, April 2, in the afternoon and continue through Sunday. Media Day is Tuesday, April 3, and SportsCenter will air the news conferences of Tiger Woods (1 p.m.) and Phil Mickelson (2:30 p.m.). Tirico and Scott Van Pelt will host SportsCenter reports from the Masters and will be joined by analysts Andy North, Paul Azinger and Strange, and reporter Tom Rinaldi. Van Pelt, North and Rinaldi also will present a special one-hour preview SportsCenter at the Masters on Wednesday, April 4, at 5 p.m. following the Par 3 Contest telecast. ESPN the Magazine’s Rick Reilly will provide essays for SportsCenter Wednesday through Sunday.
The Masters on ESPN 3D
ESPN’s television coverage will include 14 hours of programming in 3D on the ESPN 3D network, an additional 2.5 hours from last year’s coverage. Included will be three hours daily from all four rounds of Tournament action plus two hours of Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest. Thursday and Friday’s telecasts begin at 4:30 p.m. while the weekend telecasts begin at 4 p.m. The Par 3 Contest airs at 3 p.m. In 2010, the Masters became the first major sporting event produced and broadcast live in 3D internationally on television and the Internet. Gannon will host ESPN 3D’s telecasts with analyst Azinger Wednesday through Friday, while Tirico, Azinger and Strange will have the call Saturday and Sunday.
Masters Par 3 Contest
The Masters Par 3 Contest will air live Wednesday, April 4, from 3-5 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN 3D and ESPN3. The Par 3 Contest, which began in 1960, was first televised by ESPN in 2008. On ESPN, Tirico, North and Strange will be joined by Rinaldi, who will conduct interviews on the putting green, and on-ground reporter Peter Kostis. Host Terry Gannon and analyst Azinger will be the announcers on ESPN 3D.
The Masters on ESPN Digital Platforms
All Masters programming on ESPN also is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
- News, blogs and columns from ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and golf writers Farrell Evans and Bob Harig.
- “CoverItLive” application moderated by Michael Collins.
- “Championship Central” on the ESPN.com/Golf index page focusing on the majors and the Ryder Cup.
- The ESPN Golf Cast application, which offers an easy-to-use interface with scoring, “CoverItLive,” video and social media elements.
- “Road to The Masters” series tracking the latest news and historical look backs of the year’s first major. Included are 50+ Masters Moments video highlights.
- ESPNRadio.com with highlighted player interviews, course analysis and up-to-the minute updates of the Masters
- Video clips from ESPN golf analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger.
- Photo Galleries
- Live scoring from Masters.com
- ESPNDeportes.com editorial coverage of the Masters in Spanish will include comprehensive daily print and video content, with analysis from on-air talent Aleman, Bertolaccini and Sutcliffe.
ESPN’s multi-screen, live event sports network will simulcast ESPN’s telecast of the Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 4, from 3-5 p.m.
Additional coverage of the Masters on ESPN platforms:
ESPN Radio will present updates from Augusta National Golf Club throughout the Masters Tournament Wednesday-Sunday, April 4-8. Reporter Dan Davis will have live hourly updates (4:40-9:40 p.m.) during the first two rounds and twice-an-hour reports at 20 and 40 minutes past the hour (1:20-8:40 p.m.) throughout the weekend’s SportsCenter Saturday and SportsCenter Sunday programs as well as during ESPN Radio’s NBA and MLB studio shows. Reports will also run on weekday’s SportsCenter AM (5-6 a.m.) and in SportsCenter Tonight (10 p.m.-1 a.m.) throughout the week.
ESPN the Magazine
The April 2 issue of ESPN the Magazine contains a multi-page Masters preview by Scott Miller. The Masters scorecards of three of this year’s favorites, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, are analyzed and Miller says the most crucial holes for each man lie back-to-back-to-back at Augusta (McIlroy – 10, Woods – 11, Mickelson – 12). Miller breaks down why the holes have made a difference to the three superstars in the Masters.
ESPN InternationalThis year 95 countries will see the Masters on ESPN platforms. Fans in these countries can follow the Masters on ESPN television, online, mobile and broadband platforms. The Masters is available in:
- Asia (17.5 hours to 22 countries and 174 million households via ESS), plus two hours of Par 3 Contest coverage.
- Latin America and the Caribbean (all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest coverage to 51 Countries and more than 36 million households).
- In Canada, TSN and TSN-HD will air the first two rounds of the Masters and the Par 3 Contest live with same day re-airs in primetime of the final rounds. TSN’s networks reach approximately 15 million households.
- In Northern Africa and the Middle East, all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest will be televised to 21 countries.
- The Par 3 Contest, all four rounds of the Masters and exclusive broadband coverage of “Amen Corner,” a featured group and holes 15 and 16 will be live on ESPN Play in Spanish-speaking Latin America and on ESPN 360 in Brazil. Additionally, for the first time, a mobile/tablet version of ESPN Play will be available in Chile.
ESPNEWS will offer all the latest Masters news beginning Monday, April 2, with interviews, pre- and post-round news conferences and analysis from Scott Van Pelt, Andy North and Mike Tirico.
ESPN Classic will televise a 43-hour Masters Tribute featuring Official Masters Films beginning Tuesday, April 3, at 8 p.m. The tribute will include highlights from every year of the Masters from 1960 through 2011, with programming continuing all day Wednesday and through 3 p.m. on Thursday when first round coverage begins.
The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA
Day/Date Program Start End Networks Wednesday, April 4 Masters Par 3 Contest 3 p.m. 5 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN3D Wednesday, April 4 SportsCenter at the Masters 5 p.m. 6 p.m. ESPN Thursday, April 5 First Round 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes Thursday, April 5 First Round 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN 3D Thursday, April 5 First Round (encore) 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN Friday, April 6 Second Round 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes Friday, April 6 Second Round 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. ESPN 3D Friday, April 6 Second Round (encore) 8 p.m. 11 p.m. ESPN Saturday, April 7 Third Round 4 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN 3D Sunday, April 8 Final Round 4 p.m. 7 p.m. ESPN 3D
That is it for this post.