Golf Channel Won't Duck Masters Flap


The Golf Channel will tread over the next four days at The Masters where USA
Network and CBS don't intend to: the controversy over the refusal by Augusta
National Golf Club, the event's home, to admit a woman to its membership.

Adam Barre, the network's business correspondent and observer of the Masters
membership furor all along, will file reports Thursday through Sunday from
Augusta National on its nightly Golf Central program.

He'll follow the situation and planned protests by various groups for and
against Augusta's current policy this weekend.

Because of the furor and a decision by club chairman Hootie Johnson to exempt
sponsors from it, USA and CBS will carry the tournament commercial-free for the
first time. Asked Wednesday morning if that status could continue into next year
and beyond on both networks, Johnson replied,

Earlier, a USA Network spokesperson told Multichannel News the channel
would not address the issue on its Masters coverage tomorrow and Friday, nor on
PGA Tour Sunday, which will air before CBS' final-round presentation.

ESPN, Fox Sports Net and some regional sports channels are also expected to
cover The Masters and controversy matters on their nightly
sports-news/highlights programming.