#What PGA Tour’s return will look like on TV: ‘Most complicated production’

#What PGA Tour’s return will look like on TV: ‘Most complicated production’

June 8, 2020 | 9:47pm

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus is the son of Jim McKay. He has been in the sports media business as a professional for more than four decades. And he has led CBS Sports for nearly a quarter century.

The first event back on the PGA Tour, the Charles Schwab Challenge from Fort Worth’s Colonial Golf Club, starts Thursday on Golf Channel before CBS picks up play on the weekend. CBS is in charge of all the telecasts.

“This is the most complicated production plan that I’ve ever been involved in, including Super Bowls and Final Fours and other events,” McManus, 65, said.

For two months, CBS has been trying to figure out what to do and now — fingers crossed — viewers will have golf every week through late into the fall.

So what will it look like with social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic and how will CBS adapt?

Let’s start with the fun stuff first.

Mics on: McManus said some players will be miked up for the tournament.

Inside the ropes: This new element will have golfers go into a tent where they will answer a question written down on a piece of paper. McManus thought the 10th or 15th hole would be used.

No fake noise: CBS will not pipe crowd noise into the event. There will be no fans on hand.

Eye on the course: There will be more live action shots during commercials, which is the trend in sports that it is on the rise; especially with the Netflixization of viewers, who don’t want commercials. The split screen invariably keeps people from flipping the channel.

Drones: McManus said the network will use drones to take a look at the course.

Where are my friends?: Jim Nantz is usually in the 18th-hole tower with five or six people, including Nick Faldo. Nantz will be on-site by himself with a robotic camera.

Remote control: Faldo, Ian Baker-Finch and Frank Nobilo will be in Orlando at the Golf Channel studios.

Course reports: Dottie Pepper and Mark Immelman will be on the ground, per normal, in Texas.

Less people: McManus said the network would have “roughly half” the amount of people that it would typically at a golf tournament. He didn’t what the normal number would be.

Backup to the backup: To make sure the show can get on the air, CBS has backup capabilities in New York and a mobile unit in Stamford, Conn., as well as well as graphic and video teams in Los Angeles.

Opening act: Nantz will script an opening that will encompass everything that is going on with the pandemic and race relations in our country.


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