|The PGA Tour on CBS|
|Created by||CBS Sports|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||N/A|
|Running time||180 minutes or until game ends|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original run||1956 (The Masters)
1970 (PGA Tour) – present
In January 2006, the PGA Tour announced a new set of television deals covering 2007 to 2012. CBS Sports will remain the main carrier of PGA Tour golf (which has been so the case since 1970), and will increase its events from 16 to 19 per season. CBS also holds broadcast television rights to the two of the four majors, The Masters and PGA Championship. CBS has long-term deals for the PGA Championship (beginning in 1991). Meanwhile, the Masters operates under one-year contracts; CBS has been the main TV partner every year since 1956.
As previously mentioned, CBS has televised the Masters in the United States every year since 1956, when it used six cameras and covered only the final four holes. Tournament coverage of the first 8 holes did not begin until 1993 because of resistance from the tournament organizers, but by 2006, over 50 cameras were used. USA Network added first- and second-round coverage in 1982, which was also produced by the CBS production team.
In 2005, CBS broadcast the tournament with high-definition fixed and handheld wired cameras, as well as standard-definition wireless handheld cameras. In 2007, CBS added "Masters Extra," an hour's extra full-field bonus coverage daily on the internet, preceding the television broadcasts. In 2008, CBS added full coverage of holes 15 and 16 live on the web.
While Augusta National Golf Club has consistently chosen CBS as its U.S. broadcast partner, it has done so on successive one-year contracts. Due to the lack of long-term contractual security, as well as the club's limited dependence on broadcast rights fees (owing to its affluent membership), it is widely held that CBS allows Augusta National greater control over the content of the broadcast, or at least perform some form of self-censorship, in order to maintain future rights. The club, however, has insisted it does not make any demands with respect to the content of the broadcast.
There are some controversial aspects to this relationship. Announcers refer to the gallery as "patrons" rather than spectators or fans (gallery itself is also used), and use the term "second cut" instead of "rough" (however, the second cut is normally substantially shorter than comparable "primary rough" at other courses). Announcers who have been deemed not to have acted with the decorum expected by the club have been removed, notably Gary McCord. There also tends to be a lack of discussion of any controversy involving Augusta National, such as the 2003 Martha Burk protests. However, there have not been many other major issues in recent years.
The club mandates minimal commercial interruption, currently limited to four minutes per hour (as opposed to the usual 12 or more); this is subsidized by selling exclusive sponsorship packages to three companies. In the immediate aftermath of the Martha Burk controversy, there were no commercials during the 2003 and 2004 broadcasts, although international commercial broadcasters continued to insert their own commercials into the coverage. The Players Championship began imposing the same rule in 2007 and some of the other major championships have tried to follow suit in their most recent TV contracts.
The club also disallows promotions for other network programs, with the sole exception of an on-screen mention of 60 Minutes should the final round run long, or right before the coverage ends. Other broadcast material not allowed include sponsored graphics, blimps and on-course announcers. There is also typically no cut-in for other news and sports, either from CBS or its affiliates. CBS uses "Augusta" by Dave Loggins as the event telecast's distinctive theme music.
Significant restrictions have been placed on the tournament's broadcast hours compared to other major championships, perhaps to increase the tournament's Nielsen ratings, or to reward ticket-holders. Only in the 21st century did the tournament allow CBS to air 18-hole coverage of the leaders, a standard at the other three majors. Only three hours of cable coverage is scheduled for the early rounds each day. International broadcasters do not receive additional coverage, although they may take commercial breaks at different times from CBS or ESPN. As noted before, an additional hour of coverage each day is streamed online.