Masters TV debate leaves fans unhappy – has tradition gone too far?

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The course siren sounded like a soggy Augusta National on Saturday night to mark the end of the day’s play. It also ended a difficult event for golf fans who were stuck with the ancient tradition behind the Masters and its telecast.

Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm, along with Sam Bennett’s casual attitude, made for an eye-catching final group for spectators after the third-round groups were quickly pushed out following the relentless decline. It was planned to present the two magnificent golfers together with the theater of LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour, which has consumed golf for more than a year. The final players began their tour shortly after 6pm BST, but fans were denied the usual way to watch until after 8pm BST.

Many imaginary scenarios such as Wimbledon denied fans the chance to see one of their finals until several games into the first set. Nick Dougherty, kind, admitted to patience during the good Sky Sports broadcast in the UK, trying hard to fill time, even if there was some coverage available through the red button.

The situation worsened after about 17 minutes. A miserable experience was compounded after the television broadcast came to an abrupt end due to the weather as puddles covered the steep slopes surrounding the greens. He left the supporters on the site with a sad procession away from the building and many unhappy at home.

Despite this particular event, Augusta National should be commended for embracing innovation with organizers making several smart decisions to increase its coverage in recent years. , while also confirming maximum prize money for 2023.

The creative exchanges seen so far between Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas and the US broadcast team add an interesting wrinkle between scenes. Even if both players were largely disappointed with the level of play at the time.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur has added a wonderful flavor to the week, and the official app has been popular. Users can curate their own highlight reel of virtually live Masters events​​​​​​​by highlighting their favorite players to watch individual highlights. But when it comes to the beginning moving day and on the third round, it’s a pity to be forced to keep silent spells between the majestic hits of Koepka and Rahm.

Supporters make their way past the leaderboard after stopping play in the third round of the Masters Championship (EPA)

Supporters make their way past the leaderboard after stopping play in the third round of the Masters Championship (EPA)

The Masters broadcast rights allow participants to present selected groups, but not as part of the main broadcast until the broadcast windows are open. It helps Augusta drive traffic to its website and official app. And while this is frustrating, it’s arguably refreshing for an event that doesn’t like to prioritize profits, with their ongoing one-year contract with American network partner CBS, further evidence. on his desire to retain ultimate control.

The tradition and restrictions would be more enjoyable however if the leaders were not completely hidden, including Koepka, Rahm and Bennett in the immediate special groups they would certainly have the level of discontent that reduce Phone bans and other sensitive rules are fine, but this strict approach to broadcasting feels like an act of sabotage.

But Augusta is clearly doing well with the current system, even if it’s not perfect for fans. See the impact of Scottie Scheffler in 2022 and an average of 10.17 million viewers in the United States, according to Sports Media Watch. Biggest audience for four years since Tiger Woods’ miraculous win in 2019 (10.8 million).

Brooks Koepka leads the Masters on Sunday (Getty)

Brooks Koepka leads the Masters on Sunday (Getty)

And the Masters is at a different level in terms of appeal compared to the other two major US-based platforms with the PGA Championship on CBS and the US Open on NBC each attracting around 5.27 million viewers per -last year, while NBC’s Open coverage was further behind at just 4.725 million. observers.

ANGC may be lamenting the exceptional weather seen in the past few hours, but a simple solution and greater flexibility in next year’s broadcast agreements can boost the Masters brand, giving a loyal following.

Spain's Jon Rahm plays his tee shot from the 18th tee (Getty)

Spain’s Jon Rahm plays his tee shot from the 18th tee (Getty)

Augusta’s famous SubAir system, used to artificially remove moisture from the course and change the speed of the greens, was not enough to cope with such rain this week . It seems that Mother Nature has shown the Masters machine a vulnerability and taught a painful lesson.

Veteran broadcaster Jim Nantz called the tournament “a tradition unlike any other”. That promise will now be confirmed after such a disappointment.

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