Many people regard The Masters as the greatest golf tournament in the world, with the prestigious green jacket seen as one of the ultimate prizes in sport. Due to its popularity, it's no surprise to see that the competition is not only keenly fought by players, but also by major media organisations. Many seemingly "tip toe" around the competition and will do everything in their power to keep hold of the broadcasting rights. Bearing this in mind, we'll take a look at the major television deals that are held across the world for the Augusta National event.
Television in the US
Any person who has followed golf for a long period of time will know that the television rights generally float from provider to provider. Broadcasters are constantly trying to outbid their rivals and this means that there is rarely any continuity in the rights.
However, The Masters differs to a huge extent in the US. Since 1956, when just six cameras covered the last four holes, CBS has been the main broadcaster for the event and has held onto these rights with a fantastic grip. As you may expect, technology means that countless cameras are now utilised, with CBS also televising the event in HD mode amongst other impressive features.
Another interesting point about CBS' deal is that the station is only contracted on a year-by-year basis, while some have hinted that the broadcaster demands less from Augusta National Golf Club than it does from other organisations as it is so desperate to keep the rights. Furthermore, CBS are only permitted four minutes of commercial adverts per hour of coverage.
Television in the rest of the world
While The Masters is watched by millions around the world, it's probably the UK and Canada who have the other major deals. In a lot of countries, the giant ESPN network is generally in charge of coverage. Many people in the UK are proud to see that the BBC has made extra effort to hold onto the rights - when they have previously given up deals to network stations over the years. They have provided coverage on the tournament since the mid-1980s, with this complimented by their Radio Five Live service. Even though Sky Sports and Setanta Ireland now hold complete rights as well, the fact that the BBC offers a service without commercials means that it is the preferred choice for many.
Canada operates on a much different platform and their rights are owned by a marketing firm. Graham Sanborn Media are the company in question and they buy time on various channels to subsequently air it via these mediums.