ESPN has mastered an expansive digital deal for its coverage of golf’s first major.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will enable ESPN to provide live streaming of its on-air coverage of The Masters, which is scheduled this year from April 10-13 from the famed Augusta National Golf Club.
ESPN earlier this year secured exclusive U.S. TV rights to the first and second round of the prestigious tournament, coverage that had been on USA Network since 1981. ESPN also obtained the rights to telecast the Par 3 Contests on Wednesday April 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., which will mark the first time this gallery favorite will air on the small screen. CBS will continue to provide weekend coverage.
The total sports network will provide live simulcasts of the aforementioned event telecasts on its ESPN360.com broadband service. It will also furnish live streaming from the club's fabled "Amen Corner" holes, and live look-ins and highlights on ESPN.com. Additionally, an online “Putting Game”, plus fantasy and trivia games will also be available in what will be ESPN’s sixth consecutive year of digital-media presentation surrounding the tourney..
“The Masters is one of world’s great sporting events and according to the Sports Business Journal, the most prestigious,” said John Kosner, ESPN senior vice president and general manager of digital media, in a statement. “The work we do digitally with the Masters can serve as an important element in assisting the tournament in its goal of growing the game internationally and reaching a younger audience.”