CBS Sports Delivers Cutting-Edge Technological Enhancements for Historic 100th PGA Championship
Hawkeye Green Technology and 4D Replay System Highlight New Technology
As the television world constantly changes, it's imperative to continuously innovate. Although CBS Sports' production quality, announcers and story-telling have always set the standard for golf broadcasts, the necessity of technology has changed viewer expectations. With the 2018 PGA Championship, CBS Sports will bring viewers inside-the ropes for a unique experience through technological enhancements that continue the network's dedication to producing an unrivaled broadcast.
"The last two to three years, CBS Sports has really moved the needle from a technical coverage standpoint," said Ken Aagaard, Executive Vice President, Innovation and New Technology, CBS Sports. "The viewer is now seeing and understanding data, like shot apex, that they might have not have known about just a few years ago. Tracer tech is now everywhere throughout our broadcasts; it's omnipresent. The whole experience of watching golf is more interesting because we're always coming up with something new. With this PGA Championship, we are bringing it all together to create a pretty cool visual for viewers."
The network will deploy 110 cameras and 175 microphones spanning 41 miles of multi-strand fiber (equaling 492 miles of actual fiber connectivity), which, according to Aagaard, will provide "better audio than ever before." CBS Sports will also utilize
a Rover Cam for the first time, a remote controlled rover with an RF camera affixed to it, ensuring that there will be eyes on every bit of the action and grounds at Bellerive Country Club.
On the challenging 495-yard Par 4 15th hole, CBS Sports will operate the 4D replay system that has an array of cameras covering 270 degrees of the tee box that allows for three-dimensional manipulation of the video. It marks the first time this technology will be used by a U.S. broadcaster on a golf broadcast. "The 4D Replay will be a more dimensional look at a golfers' swing and help our announcers analyze it better," said Aagaard. "The cameras will be low so the viewer will be looking at the swing from a different angle. Combined with our Swing Vision technology, it will be a useful visual tool for our viewers, especially on one of the last holes of the tournament."
Aagaard is especially excited for CBS Sports' Hawkeye Green Technology, which will allow viewers to experience the undulation of the green and the line of the putts throughout the PGA Championship. "Green reader technology is going to make the putts on the green come alive," he continued. "Through animations and how the greens are mapped ahead of time, we will have an accurate depiction of where the ball needs to be putt, along with the speed, for it to go in. The technology makes everything a bit easier to understand and it's more visual than ever before."
CBS Sports' technology at this historic 100th PGA Championship will help capture all the drama, tension and excitement that a weekend at a major promises. The key, however, is using all the technonlogy at the producers' disposal to help tell the story without it feeling too overbearing. Harold Bryant, Executive Producer and Senior Vice President, CBS Sports, noted the challenge. "One of the main challenges we have is to ensure that golf is front and center, while the technology remains a complementary part of the puzzle. We don't want to get in the way of the tournament story itself, but instead want the technology to help explain to viewers what they are seeing."
While challenging, the pay-off is in the final product. "If you take all these new technological enhancements together," Bryant continued, "and combine them with our announcers and story-telling, it makes the overall broadcast pretty exciting."
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