For the third consecutive year, ESPN’s live stream of the first round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club set digital viewership records.
The Masters tournament from Augusta National Golf Club returns to ESPN International for the twenty-fourth consecutive year with comprehensive live coverage across 53 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.
First, Second Rounds of Masters Tournament Airing Live on ESPN for 10th Year Scott Van Pelt, Sage Steele in Lead Host Roles for ESPN Masters Coverage For the 10th year, ESPN will air live play of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, part of extensive, multiplatform coverage … Read More
ESPN golf analysts Andy North and Curtis Strange and host Scott Van Pelt participated in a media conference call today to discuss next week’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. For the 10th year, ESPN will have live telecasts of the first two rounds at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, April 6-7, as well as extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPN.com and other ESPN platforms.
The third edition of golf’s Latin America Amateur Championship was also its most-viewed in the United States, thanks to a strong final round telecast on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 15.
Buck, Azinger & Faxon Anchor 18th Tower at Oakmont Country Club
Coverage begins Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 AM ET on FS1
New York – With just over one week until its second presentation of the U.S. Open Championship, FOX Sports today announced its full broadcast schedule and programming plan for the 116th U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.
Highlighted by more than 40 hours of live golf action across the FOX family of networks, FOX Sports airs 22.5 hours on FOX, matching 2015’s inaugural broadcast, up from 19 hours on broadcast television in 2014. Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17, the first seven hours of action are televised on FS1 from 10:00 AM ET to 5:00 PM ET, before moving to local FOX stations from 5:00 to 8:00 PM ET. FOX airs coverage from 11:00 AM ET to 7:00 PM ET on Saturday, June 18 and from11:00 AM ET to 7:30 PM ET on Sunday, June 19. In the event of a tie at the conclusion of Sunday’s final round, an 18-hole playoff airs Monday, June 20 at 12:00 PM ET on FOX. In addition, FS1 airs 30-minute wrap-up shows following each of the championship’s four rounds, Thursday through Sunday.
FOX Deportes televises 6.5 hours of U.S. Open coverage in Spanish for the second time in the championship’s storied history, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM ET on Saturday and 4:00 to 7:30 PM ET on Sunday.
Emmy-Award winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, lead analyst Paul Azinger and analyst Brad Faxon anchor the 18th Tower throughout the championship. Hole announcers Mark Brooks and Steve Flesch and on-course reporters Ken Brown, Juli Inkster, Scott McCarron and Curtis Strange provide insight from a variety of perspectives across Oakmont’s fairways and challenging greens.
Holly Sonders hosts studio coverage alongside Bob Ford, longtime head professional and current director of golf at Oakmont, as well as course design expert Gil Hanse. Rules analyst David Fay, interviewer Shane Bacon and reporter Jaime Diaz also contribute to broadcast coverage.
The full broadcast schedule for championship play follows:
Date Program Time Network
June 16 First Round 10:00 AM-5:00 PM FS1
5:00-8:00 PM FOX
June 17 Second Round 10:00 AM-5:00 PM FS1
5:00-8:00 PM FOX
June 18 Third Round 11:00 AM-7:00 PM FOX
4:00-7:00 PM FOX Deportes
June 19 Final Round 11:00 AM-7:30 PM FOX
4:00-7:30 PM FOX Deportes
June 20 Playoff (if necessary) 12:00-4:00 PM FOX
On the digital front, FOX Sports GO live streams all U.S. Open coverage provided by FS1 and the FOX broadcast network, and offers ‘bonus’ content on three alternate streams created specifically for the event, presenting more than 110 hours of additional coverage. The bonus feeds include two channels following four separate featured groups (two each) and a channel dedicated to featured holes, available daily starting Thursday on FOX Sports GO, www.usopen.com and the U.S. Open app.
FOX Sports’ expansive digital offerings for the U.S. Open are anchored by FOX Sports mainstays Joel Klatt and Justin Kutcher, who provide play-by-play for featured groups. They are joined by a slate of newcomers: broadcaster Luke Elvy, 2011 U.S. Senior Open champion Olin Browne, 1987 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Brett Quigley and 1987 U.S. Open Champion Scott Simpson. In addition, analysts Robert Damron, Jay Delsing, Buddy Marucci and Joe Ogilvie, as well as host Ned Michaels, return to FOX Sports’ digital team.
The full FOX Sports GO live-stream schedule for championship play follows:
Day/Date Channel Time (ET) Platform
Thursday – Friday, FS1 stream 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM FOX Sports GO
June 16-17 FOX stream 5:00 – 8:00 PM
Featured Groups (Ch. A) 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Featured Groups (Ch. B) 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Featured Holes 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday, FOX stream 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM FOX Sports GO
June 18-19 Featured Groups (Ch. A) 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Featured Groups (Ch. B) 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Featured Holes 11:00 AM – 6:30 PM
FOX Sports’ U.S. Open preview programming kicks off on Friday, June 10 at 2:05 PM ET, when Azinger joins THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD on FS1 to reveal and react to the U.S. Open groupings for next week’s opening round.
Beginning the week of the U.S. Open, FOX Sports features preview programming on FS1 each day leading up to the championship. On Monday, June 13 at 3:00 PM ET, DRIVE TO THE U.S. OPEN spotlights some of the amateurs and professionals that earned their spots in the field via sectional qualifying tournaments this spring. On Tuesday, June 14 at 3:00 PM ET, the U.S. OPEN PREVIEW SHOW breaks down the field of favorites and takes an in-depth look at Oakmont Country Club as Sonders hosts and is joined by analysts Brooks, Faxon and Flesch. Finally, on Wednesday, June 15 at 10:00 AM ET, WEDNESDAY AT THE U.S. OPEN takes a last look at the players’ final practice rounds with Inkster, McCarron and Strange reporting from the course. Azinger, Buck and Faxon offer analysis from the 18th Tower, while the entire FOX Sports golf broadcast team contributes insight and features from the studio.
The full preview and companion programming schedule follows:
Day/Date Show Time (ET) Channel
Friday, June 10 THE HERD 2:00 – 2:30 PM FS1
WITH COLIN COWHERD
Monday, June 13 THE DRIVE TO THE 3:00 – 4:00 PM FS1
Tuesday, June 14 U.S. OPEN PREVIEW 3:00 – 3:30 PM FS1
Wednesday, June 15 WEDNESDAY AT THE 10:00 – 11:30 AM FS1
FOX Sports Radio prepares a significant on-site presence throughout championship week. The schedule includes 24 hours of coverage previewing the championship and its opening rounds, with eight hours daily from Wednesday, June 15 toFriday, June 17, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM (Jay Mohr Sports), 6:00 to 8:00 PM ET (Steve Gorman SPORTS!) and 8:00 to 11:00 PM ET (JT “The Brick”).
Coverage will continue on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 as national anchor Dan Beyer provides live updates during play. On-air programming can also be heard on FOXSportsRadio.com and the FOX Sports Radio channel on iHeartRadio.
— FOX SPORTS —
American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks to preform live on Wednesday’s show
Guests include head football coaches, professional golfer John Daly, SEC legends Bo Jackson & Steve Spurrier
The Paul Finebaum Show makes its golf course debut on Wednesday, May 18 for its second stop in three consecutive weeks of remote shows. Last week the show was live from Gainesville, Fla. for the No.7 Vanderbilt at No. 1 Florida baseball game. In two weeks, May 31 and June 1, the show closes out its mini-road trip with its second annual trip to the Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla.
Finebaum Regions Pro-Am
The Paul Finebaum Show is live from the Regions Tradition Pro-Am golf tournament on Wednesday, May 18. Finebaum’s set, perched on the Champions Club patio, looking down the 18th fairway, will host interviews with five SEC football coaches – Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart, Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn, Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze, Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen – as well as Alabama Basketball Head Coach Avery Johnson, sports icon Bo Jackson, SEC legend Steve Spurrier and professional golfer John Daly.
In addition to high-profile interviews throughout the show, Taylor Hicks, winner of the fifth season of American Idol, will perform an acoustic set live.
Finebaum Spring Meetings
For the second year, Finebaum is live from the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. where football and basketball coaches, as well as school and conference administrators gather annually. Coaches from a variety of schools and sports, as well as Commissioner Greg Sankey, are expected to appear on the show over Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.
Last year’s show on the Gulf Coast proved particularly influential to the year’s events. Coach Dawn Staley’s encouragement of Finebaum to attend a South Carolina women’s basketball game (full story) resulted in a courtside show on Monday, Feb. 8 during the Gamecock’s NCAA Tournament run.
In addition to the South Carolina trip, The Paul Finebaum Show has visited the previously mentioned Florida baseball game (photos) and the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. The show also visited all 14 schools during the fall, previewing each campus on Friday prior to SEC Nation’s Saturday show.
The Paul Finebaum Show airs on SEC Network every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. ET, taking calls from across the SEC and the country.
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ESPN’s live telecast of Round 2 of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 8, earned a 2.2 U.S. household rating, averaging 3.060 million viewers, according to fast national data from Nielsen Media. The telecast aired from 3-7:30 p.m. ET.
The rating and viewership rose for the second consecutive year for the Friday telecast, up from a 2.1 rating and an average of 2.952 million viewers in 2015 and a 1.8 rating and an average of 2.465 million viewers in 2014.
Viewers were able to watch more than half of the round played by leader Jordan Spieth as he and the other players battled wind and tough scoring conditions in the 80th edition of the Masters.
Friday’s telecast peaked with a 2.6 rating and 3.727 million viewers from 5:30-6 p.m. During that time, the telecast followed longtime golf star Tom Watson, competing in his final Masters but not making the cut, as he completed his last round at Augusta with a walk to the 18th green.
Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., was the nation’s highest-rated metered market with a 3.9 rating for Friday’s telecast, followed by Louisville, Ky., at 3.7 and Columbus, Ohio, at 3.6. Fort Myers-Naples, Fla., Knoxville, Tenn., and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., tied at 3.5.
Completing the top 10 metered markets were Buffalo, Cincinnati and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., at 3.4, and Charlotte, N.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla., at 3.3.
ESPN also enjoyed another strong day of digital viewership on Friday with the most-watched Masters Round 2 ever on WatchESPN, following the most-watched Round 1 ever on the service the previous day. Round 2 had an average minute audience of 49,000 and 13.2 total minutes viewed, both up 76 percent from 2015.
The Friday telecast completed ESPN’s two days of live Masters coverage, but SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the event throughout the weekend.
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Golf fans were streaming ESPN’s live telecast of Round 1 of the Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 7, in record fashion on WatchESPN.
Thursday’s telecast marked the most-viewed Masters Round 1 ever on WatchESPN, with an average minute audience of 40,100 and 10.8 million total minutes viewed, both up three percent from 2015.
On television, the Masters Round 1 telecast earned a 1.7 rating, averaging 2.398 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National numbers. The rating and viewership were higher than the 1.5 rating and average audience of 2.006 million earned by ESPN for Round 1 in 2014, the last time Tiger Woods did not play.
With Woods in the field last year, ESPN earned a 2.2 rating, averaging 3.218 million viewers, the largest audience and highest rating for Round 1 since the record-setting 2010 telecast. The 2010 Masters first-round telecast on ESPN earned a 3.4 rating and averaged 4.936 million viewers, the second-largest golf audience ever on cable.
Thursday’s telecast peaked from 5:30-6pm with a 2.0 rating and 2.736 million viewers.
Minneapolis-St. Paul was the highest rated local market for Thursday’s telecast with a 3.2 rating, followed by Charlotte, N.C., and Buffalo, tied at 3.0; and West Palm Beach, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., at 2.9.
Rounding out the top 10 were Columbus, Ohio, and San Diego, 2.8; Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 2.7; and Louisville, Ky.,and Indianapolis, 2.6.
While ESPN’s live Masters coverage ends Friday, SportsCenter and ESPN.com will continue to report from the Masters throughout the weekend.
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ESPN will provide extensive, multiplatform coverage of the Masters Tournament at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club, including live telecasts of the first two days of Tournament play and expansive news, information and analysis on television and digital outlets for the entire week of golf’s first major of the season.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air 4.5 hours of live Round 1 and Round 2 action on Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET with an edited encore presentation in prime time each night from 8-11 p.m. on ESPN.
ESPN also will air the traditional Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 6, from 3-5 p.m. followed by a one-hour SportsCenter at the Masters special at 5 p.m.
Prior to the live television windows Thursday and Friday, live updates from Augusta will air on SportsCenter all morning and afternoon until coverage begins at 3 p.m. Thursday morning’s ceremonial first tee shot with legendary golfers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will air in the 8 a.m. hour of SportsCenter.
Mike Tirico will host ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts and will conduct player interviews from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin. Tirico and ESPN golf analyst Curtis Strange will join CBS’ golf announcer crew for the telecasts.
SportsCenter at the Masters
ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will feature live updates from Augusta National Golf Club throughout the Masters Tournament beginning the morning of Monday, April 4, and continuing through the end of the event on Sunday, April 10.
On the first day of competition, Thursday, April 7, SportsCenter:AM will have reports from Augusta in the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. hours, then viewers will be brought up-to-date every 30 minutes on SportsCenter with in-progress highlights, scores and interviews from 9 a.m. until ESPN’s telecast of live play begins at 3 p.m. Live SportsCenter updates also will air on Friday before the 3 p.m. television coverage begins.
A one-hour SportsCenter at the Masters special will air Wednesday, April 6, at 5 p.m. on ESPN with a preview of the tournament. Host Scott Van Pelt will be joined by analysts Andy North and Dottie Pepper, and reporters Tom Rinaldi and Gene Wojciechowski. The SportsCenter special follows ESPN’s telecast of the Masters Par 3 Tournament from 3-5 p.m.
On Tuesday, April 5, SportsCenter will air the news conferences of several prominent players live (schedule to be determined) and will report the first-round groupings as soon as they are announced.
Among the features that will be presented during ESPN’s Masters coverage:
- Jordan Spieth on the pressures of becoming a brand (with Rinaldi)
- Why Sunday at Augusta is the best (Rinaldi)
- Bryan DeChambeau the “Golf Scientist” (with Wojciechowski)
- Water at Augusta (Rinaldi)
- Tom Watson’s final Masters
- Arnold Palmer tribute
- Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler features
- PGA TOUR player Sang-Moon Bae enters Korean military service and will miss the Masters (Wojciechowski)
Also, ESPN will recognize the 30-year anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ last win in the Masters (1986) with features on his missing putter from that event (Rinaldi) and how improbable the win was (Wojciechowski).
ESPN Sport Science features airing during Masters coverage will include looks at the long putter, reading the greens at Augusta, Nicklaus’ 1986 win and the Par 3 Contest.
Masters Par 3 Contest
The fun and family-oriented Masters Par 3 Contest will air Wednesday, April 6, from 3-5 p.m. on ESPN. The contest, which began in 1960 and includes many current Masters players as well as greats of the past, was first televised by ESPN in 2008. On the telecast, Mike Tirico, Andy North and Curtis Strange will be joined by Tom Rinaldi, who will conduct interviews on the putting green.
The Masters on ESPN Deportes
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s multimedia, Spanish-language sports brand dedicated to providing the widest variety of sports to the U.S. Hispanic sports fan, will have live television coverage of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament on Thursday and Friday, April 7-8, from 3-7:30 p.m. Francisco Aleman (analyst), Silvia Bertolaccini (play-by-play) and John Sutcliffe (on-course reporter) will call the action from Augusta National Golf Club. Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Sergio Dipp will host coverage from the ESPN Deportes studio.
ESPN Deportes Radio will have live updates of the Masters during Zona ESPN (Monday-Friday, noon-2 p.m.) and Zona Sabatina (Saturday, 9 a.m. – noon).
In addition, ESPNDeportes.com, the No. 1 Spanish-language sports website among Spanish-preferred fans in the U.S., will offer extensive Masters coverage at its golf index page, including:
- Chats with the on-air experts.
- Various feature golf columns leading up to first-round play and post reports daily.
- Previews and analysis, including a hole by hole preview
- Nightly ESPN video wrap by ESPN Deportes’ golf experts on site.
- Daily blogs
- Real-time leaderboards
- Hole-by-hole analysis
- Daily tournament photo galleries and video highlights
- Daily polls
The Masters on Other ESPN Digital Platforms
WatchESPN and ESPN App
All Masters programming on ESPN and ESPN Deportes also will be streaming live on WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
Coverage of the Masters Tournament on ESPN.com will be extensive and will include:
- News, reactions and columns from golf writers Bob Harig, Michael Collins and Jason Sobel, and ESPN.com national writers Ian O’Connor and Kevin Van Valkenburg.
- “Quiet Please,” ESPN.com’s weekly golf preview program, hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Andy North, on Tuesday of Masters week and shot on site in Augusta, Ga.
- “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Andy North, will be produced each night Wednesday-Sunday of Masters week.
- Senior golf analyst Michael Collins will hand out nightly grades for the top players in the world plus other notable names.
- ESPN GolfCast chat with an easy to use interface with scoring, video and social media elements hosted by Collins with contributions from other ESPN.com writers on site.
- Links to Masters.com incorporating traffic roll-up of live feeds from Amen Corner, Holes 15 and 16 and Featured Groups as well as driving range video.
- Video clips from ESPN golf analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange and Dottie Pepper.
- Photo Gallery wrapping up the year’s first major
- Live scoring from Masters.com.
- On Monday, April 4, com will launch its second Golf Confidential Survey where PGA Tour pros answered questions anonymously on topics such as: Who will be No. 1 at the end of 2016? How many green jackets will Jordan Spieth own 20 years from now?
Among features that will appear on ESPN.com during Masters Tournament coverage:
- Thursday, March 31: The science of choking, connecting to Greg Norman’s finish at the Masters 20 years ago (Johnette Howard)
- Friday, April 1: Looking back at Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters victory on the 30th anniversary year. (Bob Harig) and in conjunction the Nicklaus anniversary, a look at a few “older athletes to catch lightning in a bottle” like the Golden Bear did. (Arash Markazi).
- Saturday, April 2: Smylie Kaufman will play in the Masters this year, nearly a decade after “winning” a trip there. (Jason Sobel)
- Sunday, April 3: Jordan Spieth breakout feature (Jason Sobel)
- Monday, April 4: The Grand Slam club might grow by one this week from five to six with Rory McIlroy. (Jason Sobel)
Additional coverage of the Masters on ESPN platforms:
Dan Davis will provide coverage through all four rounds of the Masters for ESPN Radio. His reports will run throughout the day on SportsCenter on both ESPN Radio and the ESPN App. Davis also will guest on network talk shows throughout the week and provide nightly features for SportsCenter AllNight.
Mike and Mike, which airs on ESPN Radio and ESPN2, will have live updates from Augusta on Wednesday (with Tom Rinaldi) and Friday (with Dottie Pepper) at 9:05 a.m. and Thursday at 8:05 a.m. with Andy North.
ESPN The Magazine
In ESPN The Magazine’s Golden State Warriors Issue on newsstands Friday, April 1 – Golf Confidential: Before the Masters, golfers anonymously dish on who they think will finish No. 1 this year, whether Tiger will win his 15th championship and if golfers care about winning a gold medal at the Olympics. By Hallie Grossman.
This year 53 countries will see the Masters on ESPN platforms and can follow the event on ESPN television, online, mobile and broadband platforms.
- In Latin America and the Caribbean, all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest coverage to 52 countries and more than 69 million households.
- A live 30-minute studio preview show will air prior to all four rounds of the Masters in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
- The Par 3 Contest, all four rounds of the Masters and exclusive broadband coverage of “Amen Corner,” Featured Groups of the day, holes 15 & 16 and Masters On The Range will be streamed live on ESPN Play in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean; and via the WatchESPN platform in Brazil. Select Featured Group coverage will also be televised in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- In Canada, TSN will air the first two rounds of the Masters and the Par 3 Contest live with same day re-airs in primetime of the third and final rounds; RDS will carry all four rounds live in French language and the TSN.ca/RDS.ca digital platforms will stream exclusive live coverage of “Amen Corner,” a Featured Group of the day, plus holes 15 and 16. TSN’s/RDS’ television networks reach more than 12 million households.
ESPN Classic will feature a two-day tribute to the Masters leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the event. The tribute begins Tuesday, April 5, at 8 p.m. with an airing of highlights of the 1978 Masters won by Gary Player, followed by the 2012 Masters won by Bubba Watson. Then, at 9:20 p.m., highlights of every Masters since 1960 will air consecutively starting with the 1960 event won by Arnold Palmer, running straight through until 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, when ESPN’s live coverage of the 2016 Masters begins.
The Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA
(all times Eastern)
|Wed., April 6||Masters Par 3 Contest||3 p.m.||ESPN|
|SportsCenter at the Masters||5 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., April 7||Round 1||3 p.m.||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Round 1 (encore)||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., April 8||Round 2||3 p.m.||ESPN, ESPN Deportes|
|Round 2 (encore)||8 p.m.||ESPN|
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