ESPN to carry more of Masters in 2011

9/21/2010 - Golf

The Masters will add an extra hour of live tournament coverage on ESPN for the first two rounds of the tournament beginning with the 2011 event, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne announced Tuesday.

The 2011 Masters will air on ESPN from 3 to 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8.

"Since our first telecast of the Masters in 1956, we have carefully maintained a tradition of high-quality programming within an appropriate broadcast window," Payne said in a statement Tuesday. "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 addition to more air time for the first two rounds, Payne also announced that Great Britain's Sky Sports will join the BBC as a live broadcaster of the 2011 Masters and that the BBC will air the tournament live on the weekend.

Sky Sports also will distribute the first live 3D Masters coverage to U.K. viewers with 3D-capable televisions. Last year, 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.

The Masters has been broadcast by CBS every year since 1956 and early-round coverage has been televised by ESPN since 2008.

"ESPN is proud and excited to partner with the Masters to bring this additional live tournament coverage to golf fans," George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, said in a statement. "We look forward to again presenting the tradition and beauty of the Masters next April."