Forecaddie: CBS adds another Tracer element, TNT bids farewell to PGA

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Forecaddie: CBS adds another Tracer element, TNT bids farewell to PGA

PGA

Forecaddie: CBS adds another Tracer element, TNT bids farewell to PGA

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The first PGA in May since 1949 is also the last for weekday broadcaster TNT. The Turner Sports-owned network has been a partner of the PGA of America for 29 years.

The Forecaddie can’t say he’s sad to see TNT get replaced by ESPN in 2020, given the sometimes painful telecasts from a network that had little other golf on the schedule and rarely showed a knack for anything besides promoting their fall lineup. For every wonderful moment contributed by the late Jim Huber, the network turned in mostly unmemorable and sometimes dreary telecasts with some seriously strange announcer pairings.

While Turner’s ties to golf could change at some point now that golf-friendly AT&T controls the broadcaster, the company was outbid for the PGA rights by rival Disney during last year’s negotiations. Those were the same rights fee discussions that extended CBS’ contract through 2030.

Speaking of CBS, The Forecaddie will be watching the 2019 PGA Championship telecasts to see how many of the outstanding bells and whistles added to recent PGA’s telecasts turn up during TNT’s broadcast window. The network hasn’t been great at sharing, so we may have to wait until the weekend to see the latest advancement in Tracer technology.

“We’re excited for the first time ever to be able to broadcast on our air the shot coming from the player with the blimp, which will give us a great view, an aerial view, of the blimp and how that is done with the Toptracer,” said longtime CBS producer Lance Barrow on Wednesday at Bethpage. “I think it will give a different look, a different perspective that you’ve never seen in golf with that.”

The Forecaddie tried to secure a sample of the new blimp tracer test runs from Quail Hollow, but CBS wants viewers to be the first to see the technology in action. But given how much golf fans demand seeing a Toptracer line show you the flight of a ball, this latest advance figures to spice up what should be an exciting PGA. At least, once TNT has finally signed off and CBS puts its best telecast foot forward.

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