TOUR announces most expansive live coverage in the history of THE PLAYERS Championship
Pioneering digital coverage complements Golf Channel, NBC Sports and global partner telecasts
May 07, 2018
By PGA TOUR staff
- May 07, 2018
- THE PLAYERS Championship will have more than 200 hours of digital coverage plus 22 hours of live telecasts. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – With more than 200 hours of digital coverage complementing 22 hours of live, limited-interruption telecasts from Golf Channel, NBC Sports, Sky Sports and dozens of broadcast partners around the world, THE PLAYERS Championship will feature the most expansive global programming in the history of the event.
“THE PLAYERS will feature an unparalleled mix of innovative viewing choices along with traditional viewing options intended to create a robust, modern viewing experience that reaches every level of fan around the world,” said Rick Anderson, PGA TOUR Chief Media Officer. “We strive to showcase the strongest field in golf with an unmatched viewing experience, whether you are here in person at TPC Sawgrass, listening to live coverage in your car, watching Golf Channel and NBC while projecting live, augmented reality shot trails on your coffee table, or interacting from the other side of the globe with a virtual reality headset.”
Following are ways fans around the world can follow the action:
NBC Sports and Golf Channel will provide a total of 22 hours of live coverage with limited commercial interruption. Golf Channel will air six hours of live golf on both Thursday and Friday (1-7 p.m. ET), and NBC Sports will present five hours of coverage on both Saturday and Sunday (2-7 p.m. ET). Each day will include limited commercial interruption, thanks to the support of THE PLAYERS’ three Proud Partners: Grant Thornton LLP, Optum and Morgan Stanley.
In addition to live coverage, Golf Channel will air primetime replays of competition on Thursday and Friday from 9 p.m.–12 a.m. ET. Golf Channel also has an extensive amount of ancillary programming scheduled around THE PLAYERS, including the Emmy-nominated “Live From THE PLAYERS” all week.
International Media Partners
South Korea’s Si Woo Kim, who last year became the youngest-ever champion of THE PLAYERS, will lead a contingent of more than 50 international players at TPC Sawgrass. International players have won seven of the last 10 titles at THE PLAYERS: Spain’s Sergio Garcia in 2008; Sweden’s Henrik Stenson in 2009; South Africa’s Tim Clark in 2010; South Korea’s K.J. Choi in 2011; Germany’s Martin Kaymer in 2014; Australia’s Jason Day in 2016 and Kim in 2017. International coverage of THE PLAYERS in 2018 will be broadcast to over 1 billion households throughout 226 countries and territories in 23 languages.
Sky Sports (United Kingdom and Ireland) and NHK (Japan) will be on site at THE PLAYERS to produce live telecasts back to their respective countries. In addition, the PGA TOUR’s International Broadcast Village will be the home of C-More (Sweden), Movistar (Spain), ESPN (Latin America), Canal+ (France) and Sky Sport (Germany) to provide live commentary from THE PLAYERS.
Ten more international partners will be on site to cover the event and provide daily news and highlights to their respective outlets: iQiyi (China), Golf Channel (China), SBS (South Korea), Golf Network (Japan), Eurosport (Norway), TSN (Canada), Fox Sports (Australia), DAZN (Canada), Perform Group (Japan) and SNTV (global video news agency).
PGA TOUR LIVE
PGA TOUR LIVE, the TOUR’s global OTT video service, will provide live streaming coverage not only on competition days but also from key events leading up to Thursday’s first round. The schedule includes:
Tuesday: Live coverage of the Military Appreciation Ceremony and Luke Combs concert, 5:30-7 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Live PLAYERS preview show from Noon-2 p.m. ET, including a live broadcast from the Stadium Course, player interviews at the range, expert analysis of the field and course, and more.
Thursday/Friday: Premium Featured Groups Coverage starting at 7:30 a.m. ET and Free Featured Holes coverage of the par-3 17th and drivable par-4 12th starting at 9 a.m. ET. Coverage is scheduled until 7 p.m. ET.
Saturday/Sunday: Premium Featured Groups coverage starting at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Featured Holes coverage of the par-3 17th and the 12th starting at Noon ET. Coverage is scheduled until 7 p.m. ET.
PGA TOUR LIVE is available at PGATOURLIVE.com along with iOS, Android, Apple TV, Windows 10 and Xbox One (launched this week).
As part of its 2017 and 2018 partnership with the TOUR, Twitter will distribute a “free preview” of the Premium Featured Groups coverage on both Thursday and Friday. The free live window will be available globally to Twitter’s audience and can be found at http://live.twitter.com/PGATOURLIVE and via @PGATOUR.
Thursday/Friday: Live coverage from 7:30 a.m. ET to approximately 9 a.m. ET of two Featured Groups through their first two holes.
The PGA TOUR will team up with Facebook to stream 30+ hours of live coverage from THE PLAYERS Wednesday through Sunday on Facebook Watch. This coverage begins Wednesday of tournament week with an exclusive preview show from 3-4 p.m. ET. Then, on Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET, Facebook will globally distribute Featured Holes coverage from holes Nos. 12 and 17. On both Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, Featured Groups coverage will be available to Facebook viewers in the U.S. Fans can tune into this action by following the PGA TOUR show Page at https://www.facebook.com/PGATOURLIVE/
PGA TOUR AR, an augmented reality (AR) app, will bring live AR tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS to life for fans around the world on their iPhone or iPad. Coverage on PGA TOUR AR will begin in conjunction with the opening round of THE PLAYERS Championship on Thursday and will feature holes 16, 17 and 18. The PGA TOUR AR app is available for free exclusively in the App Store here.
PGA TOUR AR allows fans to interact with 3D featured holes and live 3D shot trails on any flat surface right in front of them. Fans will be able to select their favorite player on the golf course, compare shot trails from each round and compare the shots of different players.
Live Virtual Reality/360 Video
The PLAYERS will feature 30+ hours of Virtual Reality coverage and will expand from three cameras covering the 17th hole last year, to eight cameras spread over both the 12th and 17th holes. The live VR experience, done in collaboration with Intel and produced with Intel True VR technology, can be viewed on Samsung Gear VR headsets on a global basis through the PGA TOUR VR Live app available on the Oculus store, on the PGA TOUR VR LIVE app on Google Daydream or on the PGA TOUR Mobile app using Cardboard or Panoramic viewing mode. For fans without the headset, a 360-video stream will be available on Twitter (@PGATOUR) for fans using any smartphone. This is the second year in a row for VR coverage at THE PLAYERS.
Thursday/Friday: Live 12th and 17th hole coverage from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET
Saturday/Sunday: Live 12th and 17th hole coverage from Noon-7 p.m. ET
PGA TOUR Radio, PGA TOUR Digital and 1010XL
Now in its 14th season, PGA TOUR Radio will provide 26 hours of exclusive audio play-by-play coverage from TPC Sawgrass (broadcasting on Sirius 208 and XM 92 on satellite radios as well as on the SiriusXM app, streaming on PGATOUR.COM and the PGA TOUR’s official iPhone, iPad and Android apps, and available via Amazon Alexa).
THE PLAYERS live broadcast will be available Thursday and Friday from 12-7 p.m. ET, then Saturday and Sunday from 1-7 p.m. For the third consecutive year, the play-by-play coverage will also be available on terrestrial radio in the greater Jacksonville area, airing locally on 1010XL.
PGA TOUR Radio’s on-air team will be led again this year by host Earl Forcey and analyst Mark McCumber of Jacksonville, winner of THE PLAYERS in 1988 and a 10-time PGA TOUR champion. Reporting on the course will be Fred Albers, Doug Bell, Dennis Paulson and Kevin Sylvester.
In addition to live play-by-play coverage, SiriusXM will be airing multiple hours of preview, pregame and postgame programming specifically devoted to THE PLAYERS.
PGA TOUR Experience on DIRECTV
For the second consecutive year, DIRECTV will offer fans four distinct channels of coverage from THE PLAYERS – the GOLF/NBC Simulcast, Featured Group, Launch Pad and ShotLink powered by CDW. DIRECTV will run programming on Thursday and Friday from 1 -7 p.m. ET and on Saturday and Sunday from 2-7 p.m. ET.
PGA TOUR Innovation Highlights
The PGA TOUR strives to be a leader in sports innovation with a goal of reaching new fans globally. THE PLAYERS Championship in 2017 marked the first time a major sports event distributed a live 360 VR experience on Twitter. Soon after, the PGA TOUR and Intel announced an exclusive relationship to produce and globally distribute live virtual reality (VR) and live 360 video via Twitter at six PGA TOUR events in 2017 and 2018.
The PGA TOUR was the first sports league to utilize AR in a live competition. Development of the PGA TOUR AR app in collaboration with POSSIBLE Mobile, part of the creative agency POSSIBLE, with Official Launch Partner Mastercard was aided by existing data gathered by ShotLink powered by CDW, the TOUR’s longstanding state-of-the-art scoring system. The PGA TOUR AR app was built using ARKit in iOS 11 to provide immersive AR experiences for the game of golf.
The PGA TOUR was also the first sports league to have a virtual reality app on the Oculus Platform and the first sports league to develop a unique experience for Amazon Echo.
The PGA TOUR HoloLens app, which debuted this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, is available for free in the Microsoft store. The HoloLens app integrates post round data from ShotLink and CDW to create a 3D model of TPC Scottsdale that can be displayed on a tabletop or any flat horizontal surface. Users can zoom in to view the details of any hole and compare how two players performed on a hole and view heat maps of most ball traffic on a certain hole along with real time weather.