In reading reviews of the CBS coverage, most focus seems to be on the announcing and how they followed the Tiger-Phil drama. Bradley Klein charted these numbers:
The first commercial break didn’t come until 66 minutes into the telecast, and all told, by my count, we saw only 20 minutes of ads. That left time for golf, 378 shots in all shown live or “a moment ago.” Those shots comprised 57 drives; 96 full approaches into greens; six pitch-outs; 35 chips, recoveries or sand shots; 52 long putts, 83 short putts and 49 tap-ins. As for the common argument that we see too much putting, the evidence shows that 49 percent of all shots shown took place on the green.
Michael Hiestand in the USA Today really doesn't say much at all, but I thought I'd link it anyway. Kind of following in that Rudy Martzke tradition, isn't he?
Chris Zelkovich picks on some of the sappier CBS comments in entertaining fashion. Don't worry, PK, he doesn't mention you!
Unmentioned in these reviews is the impact of Augusta Live, the amazing online bonus coverage that DirectTV subscribers also had access too.
On the live blogs here, we were consistently astonished just how few live shots CBS shows in comparison to what we were seeing in the online coverage of Amen Corner and the 15th/16h holes. Our friends watching BBC reported comments from post round interviews we never would have gotten and several other observations based on seeing actual golf shots instead of pre-packaged material.
For instance, we live blog participants knew all about Anthony Kim's historic round Friday as well as Rory McIlroy's disastrous finish and his ruling controversy, all thanks to Augusta Live or tips from viewers overseas. Yet for CBS, it was if they had a set script and no golf was going to get in the way.
Also disastrous was the 12th hole sequence Sunday. Every year the 12th tee caddy-player discussions provide us with the ultimate pressure moment. When Phil and Tiger arrived there, Ian Baker Finch and Nick Faldo talked over way too much of the club selection discussions. Now, I admire both as announcers and Faldo was particularly strong last week. So part of me wonders if they are told to talk viewers through things because there are so many non-golfers watching.
But I couldn't help noticing that Ian Eagle and Matt Gogel, announcing on Amen Corner Live coverage, went silent as Tiger-Stevie/Phil-Bones made the all-important 12th tee decision. (In hindsight, I should have muted my CBS feed.)
So my question: Is Augusta Live undermining CBS's credibility by exposing just how few live shots we see and golf shots period? Or is this merely the future of the broadcasting the Masters, where a network feed is an excessively-produced, almost documentary-style telecast for the masses while we viewers at home select feeds we want to watch, ala Augusta Live?