Day one of the Masters is underway at Augusta National and I can vouch for one thing: the streaming video is pretty decent on a small laptop over a Cingular 3G card. (My Charter cable access is out so that’s all I have right now.) Last year was the first for live video from the high-profile golf tourney held at one of the most private clubs in the U.S.; this year, live coverage by CBS for streaming on Masters.org and CBS Sportsline has expanded to about 26 hours over the four-day event. Three key holes are followed long before the on-air coverage begins via Amen Corner Live, which is sponsored by CDW and IBM, while an hour-long Masters Extra is airing before each on-air broadcast and the Driving Range is streamed from 8 a.m. to dusk.
ESPN.com: Meanwhile, a promotional deal with masters.org allows ESPN.com to piggyback onto the live coverage bu offering “direct links” and to tout its own multimedia coverage with Golf Digest and Golf World. ESPN 360 has extended video and highlight packages. ESPN Mobile TV will feature video analysis and commentary.
Extra hole: We’re getting past the point where this kind of coverage is new and exciting. It’s now expected and soon we’ll be noting when it’s not included because that will be the exception — at least where online is concerned. Mobile is still a different frontier. For instance, unlike the Final Four, which CBS simulcast on V Cast Mobile TV, the Masters will not be shown this weekend. Time to update Sling Mobile or to try another service.
Update: ATT’s Blue Room also has a Masters’ tie-in, promising coverage on “all three screens.” Same live coverage but on an AT&T-branded screen.