Masters announces expanded digital coverage

Ahead of this week’s Masters, it was announced that virtually every shot from every round will be made available on the tournament’s website and app for the first time.

Near-live highlights will be posted on digital platforms within minutes of the shots being made but are not available to Masters broadcast partners. While the initiative will help compensate for the tournament’s limited TV coverage in the first two rounds, it is unclear how broadcasters will react to the additional content they cannot use.

“The reason we’re doing it is because we have always subscribed to the notion that we want to provide content to our fans in the way they want to receive it,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said during his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday.

“You know, the world is migrating more and more towards digital technology. It was something that we thought, and that we were hearing, that our fans wanted, and with a lot of great work of our digital technology committee and our staff, we were able to develop this.”

“It’s been two or three years in developing,” Ridley added. “We had it in a beta test mode previously, but now I feel like we can actually execute on this.”

Ridley added that the Masters is unlikely to host a professional women’s tournament in the future despite the success of the recent Augusta National Women’s Amateur event.

Read this: Brand control | Sandwiches and the secret of The Masters

Read this: From the archive | An anatomy of the US Masters

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.