Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, today announced additions to the Tournament's television schedule and host broadcasters in the United Kingdom.
Beginning at the 2011 Masters, scheduled to take place the week of April 4-10, there will be an extra hour of live Tournament coverage Thursday and Friday, he said.
"Since our first telecast of the Masters in 1956, we have carefully maintained a tradition of high-quality programming within an appropriate broadcast window," said Payne. "Now, with the proper infrastructure and resources in place, we are confident the additional coverage will meet the high standards of the millions of golf fans who enjoy viewing the Masters each April."
In the United States, the Masters will air on ESPN from 3 - 7:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8.
Payne also announced that Sky Sports will join the BBC as a live broadcaster of the Masters during the 2011 Tournament.
The BBC, which now maintains an uninterrupted relationship with the Masters since 1986, will deliver the Tournament live on the weekend. Sky Sports will televise Wednesday's Par 3 Contest and the four Tournament rounds Thursday - Sunday live. Sky Sports also brings with it the ability to distribute the first live 3D Masters coverage to U.K. viewers with 3D-capable televisions.
"We consider ourselves fortunate to have two committed television partners who are able to reach both new and established audiences throughout the United Kingdom," Payne said. "This agreement was successful in both preserving a long-term partnership and adding a new dimension to our coverage in the U.K."
The Masters has been broadcast by CBS every year since 1956 and early round coverage has been televised by ESPN since 2008. In 1993, the Masters introduced its first HD production and became the first golf tournament presented live in HD on network television in 2000. In 2010, the Masters became the first major sporting event in the United States to be produced and delivered in 3D to televisions and computers in homes throughout North America. In addition, the 2010 Masters gave rise to the first successful live transoceanic 3D distribution, involving select platforms in Europe.
In total, it is expected that the Masters will be telecast live or delayed in more than 200 countries. Additionally, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service will be broadcasting the event to U.S. military installations throughout the world.