ESPN Helps Working Golf Fans Stay Current, Spreads U.S. Open Over Multiple Platforms
By Carolyn Braff
When the U.S. Open teed off on Thursday ESPN ensured that anyone stuck in an office – or on the road – does not miss a single moment of the Tiger-Phil group dramatics. Across its television platforms, ESPN is offering nearly 40 hours of HD programming, including 14 hours of first- and second-round action. ESPN will utilize seven of its multimedia platforms to add its own signature to the event coverage.
“I think the biggest thing about our offerings is that you have choices,” says Mike McQuade, producer of ESPN’s U.S. Open coverage. “Whether it’s on the web, on DirecTV’s interactive channel, on ESPN, you have choices. There’s so much of it and it’s in primetime, as well, so you have a chance to come home from work, if you live on the East Coast, and watch golf in primetime. I think the choice is the best part of the event.”
With the offering of a live online simulcast on ESPN360.com of Thursday and Friday’s television coverage, office summer hours may take on a whole new meaning this week. ESPN also encourages fans to combine platforms on those opening days, offering live webcast coverage of Woods and Mickelson that will enhance the television broadcast.
“The folks who get the webcasts will get to see Tiger woods and Phil Mickelson for two straight hours before full coverage begins,” McQuade says.
Simulcasts of the telecasts will also be available on ESPN Mobile TV and a detailed breakdown of each of Woods’ rounds will be available on ESPN Mobile Web as a “Tigercast” feature in the Hot Corner.
In partnership with DirecTV and Dish Network, ESPN is also bringing back its mosaic interactive TV option. The mosaic offers up to six different screens featuring live coverage, daily highlights, historical archives from the U.S. Open championships and past events on the Torrey Pines course, as well as live coverage from areas off the green, including the practice range, press conferences and interview rooms.
The network will again utilize its TrackMan technology, which captures detailed player launch and trajectory data, setting up the system on the 6th and 13th holes of the Torrey Pines course.
“We chose 6 and 13 because of their overwhelming length and the fact that we thought most players would be using a driver on that hole,” McQuade says.
ESPN will also be using Golf Trak to enhance the telecast by integrating real-life aerial footage in a 3D environment.