NBC to integrate Toptracer ball-tracking technology in PGA Tour broadcasts

NBC Sports Group has signed a multi-year agreement with Topgolf Entertainment to integrate Toptracer ball-tracking technology in all 18 holes of its PGA Tour telecasts.

The exclusive deal, which will cover all NBC networks including The Golf Channel, will begin with the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the end of the month.

Toptracer tracks the golf ball’s flight and can provide information such as ball speed, apex, curve and carry. It will be mainly used for tee shots but will also be utilised to track fairway shots.

CBS used it for 10 holes in every event last year but one, the PGA Championship, which was the first time a network was able to use the technology on all 18 holes.

“Viewers want more information because they say it helps improve the telecast,” said NBC golf producer Tommy Roy. “To be able to have Toptracer on all 18 holes is going to be able to tell the story from tournaments better.”

NBC will also test “Walk and Talk” interviews on the course during PGA Tour telecasts and getting players players to wear microphones during the first two Web.com Tour events later this month.

Meanwhile, over-the-top subscription video service PGA Tour Live has been made available as a subscription on Amazon Prime Video channels for customers in the US.

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.