Tiger Woods' extramarital affairs launched the coverage of last year's Masters Tournament, Tom Watson's run at "just one more win"-- at age 60--owned the first two rounds, and Phil Mickelson playing through the struggle of his wife's chemo-therapy to a three-shot win made it more memorable. And it was almost all available online and on your iPhone.
Whatever the storyline at this year's Masters (could Phil win two in a row after bouncing back to a win in Houston last week?), there will be more ways to follow the tournament as the story develops over the next several days than ever before. In addition to traditional TV broadcasts, online and mobile coverage has blossomed like the famed course's azaleas.
Online, Masters.com has expanded coverage that includes video-on-demand features, a 3D video stream and eight live video streams including the option for picture-in-a-picture viewing, so you can watch multiple groups, or holes on the golf course on your computer.
Among the channels on Masters.com: a library of interviews, the Par 3 Contest, a feed from Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, & 13) and holes 15 & 16, a hosted highlights segment as well as the ability to follow two featured groups during their rounds. 3D coverage begins Wednesday at 3 p.m. You can also stream a live radio broadcast of the tournament online. (Click here for tournament coverage details on Masters.com.)
"We have always been intent on conveying the beauty and excitement of the Masters in an innovative and enriching manner," said Billy Payne, Augusta National Golf Club's chairman. "Each year, we continue to improve these offerings in an effort to reach more people in more entertaining ways."
The tournament is continuing its relationship with iOS devices. In fact, if you own an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, you really may not need anything else to get full coverage. For $1.99, you get an app that gives you nine HD video channels, on-demand features and highlights and-here's the clincher-the only live digital simulcast of CBS' (NYSE:CBS) weekend coverage of the final two rounds.
This year, the app includes updates that improve video stability, improved Internet connectivity checking, and flyovers and landmark features. Of course, radio coverage is included.
The iPhone app is free and also includes some improvements over last year. This year users get five channels of live streaming, including the Par 3 contest, holes 11,12,13,15 and 16, a featured group channel, and player press conferences. All are available to watch over 3G or Wi-Fi. Also included are on-demand video highlights and features, detailed course overviews, including flyovers and yardage, and comprehensive news coverage. Users also can enable push notification alerts of breaking tournament action and information.
This year's Android app also is offering more coverage featuring an interactive leader board with real-time scoring, on-demand video highlights and those missing flyover videos. And, yes, there's live radio coverage available.
- see the Masters Tournament website
AT&T uses U-verse to add new dimension to Masters golf coverage
CBSSports.com setting the pace for streaming video of live sports
PGA.com scores with huge streaming numbers, unique visitors
DirecTV and ESPN tee up a big British Open package