Golf One Media

Golf TV and New Media Production Like Never Before

by | Mar 13, 2024 | NEWS

To serve the fans is an often used term by sports leagues and their media partners. However, seeing is believing at the Players Championship.

A select group of working media were given the rare opportunity to peak behind the curtain and visit the fully operational PGA TOUR Fleet located in the television compound as well as the still under construction PGA TOUR Studios.

Their purpose is to produce the best possible experience for viewers on all platforms throughout the season.

PGA TOUR Fleet

In 2022, the TOUR assumed responsibility for the technical infrastructure related to the production of all of its golf events, and the fleet includes nine state-of-the-art trucks,

NBC Sports producer Tommy Roy, a 29-time Emmy Award winner, admitted to being skeptical at first, but says the planning and deployment process has been very smooth.

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NBC Sports and Golf Channel Producer Tommy Roy in the PGA Tour Fleet Production Truck.

“I’ve produced Super Bowls and NBA Finals, all the great golf events, worked in a lot of spectacular (production) trucks and this one is the best I’ve ever seen, Roy said.”

This year’s debut of the PGA TOUR Fleet showcases a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the TOUR and its media partners (CBS/Paramount+, NBC/Golf Channel/Peacock and ESPN+), which will all utilize the fleet during their respective coverage windows.

The fleet will serve as the production hub for seven live shows, including the network broadcast, four PGA TOUR Live streams on ESPN+ and two live streams for IMG Arena. The close collaboration between the TOUR and its network partners allows for greater efficiencies including sharing of cameras, microphones, ball tracing technology, wireless infrastructure and many other technology tools.

This is the first time the PGA TOUR has worked directly with NEP Group, a global technology provider to build a custom fleet of golf-specific broadcast trucks, formerly the role of the networks themselves. The fleet will travel to all PGA TOUR events within the continental United States and Canada.

When you consider the ever-changing distribution landscape, the migration of PGA TOUR LIVE (the TOUR’s OTT service) to ESPN+, along with the TOUR acquiring minority investment in European Tour Productions (the European Tour Group’s media production company), an across-the-board production infrastructure upgrade was necessary as a long term investment.

PGA TOUR Studios

Executives led by Luis Goicouria, PGA TOUR Sr. Vice President of Media took us on a guided walkthrough a three-story building, scheduled to open in January 2025, located adjacent to the TOUR’s Global Home.

The futuristic 165,000-square-foot media facility — will feature the largest golf footage library in the world with cloud storage provided by TOUR partner AWS.  The studios are being created to serve as home to all PGA TOUR Media operations, including live production for PGA TOUR LIVE, PGA TOUR Champions and Korn Ferry Tour, as well as the social media, digital operations and international media.

“Flexibility is a huge piece of what we designed here,” Goicouria said. “When we sat down with every one of the companies we are working with it’s a really good opportunity to have a white canvas, if you could do this from scratch how would you do it?”

Goicouria said this has been planned for since 2017, will be tested later this season and be fully operational to begin use next season.

For those really into technology, PGA TOUR Studios will be able to record up to 144 cameras or live feeds, ensuring that the fans never miss a shot across the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Champions.

Goicouria explained how the studios were created with format-agnostic hardware and software wherever possible with the intent to accommodate both current and future telecast and media standards.

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About the Author

<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/george_mcneilly/" target="_self">George McNeilly</a>

George McNeilly

George McNeilly is an award-winning multimedia broadcaster, producer and writer with a journalism background that has spanned the globe from four Olympics, 17 Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, Major College Football, Basketball and Professional Golf. A former Senior ESPN executive, George teaches Sports Business at Full Sail University and is managing partner of McNeilly Communications.