Why isn’t The Masters on TV in the morning? With live coverage starting so late, here’s how you can watch all the early action from Augusta
One of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world kicks off this week, but unlike other majors, The Masters will not be showing its early action on television.
The Masters week brings with it a cloud of mystery over the exclusive grounds its played on, the tickets that are only claimed by lottery, and the air of superiority surrounding the field of players.
Even with the controversy of LIV Golf coming to the fore – as the renegade tour’s players taking part in The Masters for the first time – those who still watch on traditional linear television will not be able to see the early round action.
That’s due to the way Augusta National Golf Club runs the tournament, how it structures its television rights deals, and a desire to drive traffic to its website.
So how does a golf fan that has time in the morning to watch The Masters get their fix of taking in the biggest tournament in the world?
The Masters won’t allow ESPN to broadcast first or second round coverage early in the day
Why does The Masters not broadcast the early action on television?
The short answer is that they choose not to by design.
Augusta National doesn’t exactly operate The Masters with profits in mind. If they did, their famous concession stand prices would surely rise, they would sell merchandise on a website, and ticket prices would be astronomically higher than they already are.
On top of that ANGC has not granted CBS – its longtime broadcasting partner – a long-term deal which could net the club millions of dollars. Instead, they choose to operate on one-year deals.
They only began broadcasting the early rounds on cable back in 1982 on the USA Network – with ESPN taking over in 2008.
Broadcasts for the earlier rounds are still set to begin at 3:00pm. Still, there’s a good portion of the day that doesn’t see the light of linear television.
The Masters’ earlier rounds used to not be broadcast at all until demand for them rose
Where can you watch the early action?
Even though The Masters won’t be broadcast on TV, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find for those looking to take it all in.
The Masters website and app will be routinely broadcasting all the action for free from four select feeds – including the day’s featured groups and the action on holes 4, 5, & 6, holes 15 & 16 and the shots that comprise the famous Amen Corner.
First and second round coverage of those four feeds begins at 8:45am ET on the Masters app and at masters.com.
There are still ways to watch the early round morning coverage online or on The Masters app
If you don’t mind waiting, the television coverage of the first two rounds begins at 3:00pm ET on ESPN.
Third round coverage switches over to CBS on Saturday – when they’ll begin broadcasting at 3:00pm ET as well. Additionally, masters.com will be showing the feed cameras from 10:30am onwards for the last two rounds.
Lastly, the Final Round coverage on Sunday starts at 2:00pm ET on CBS.
Sky Sports will be in charge of the coverage in the UK with featured groups being shown on Sky Sports Golf and on the Sky Go app beginning at 2:00pm in Britain before the main coverage starts at 7:30pm.