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Master Stroke

It's hard to keep golfers off the course on weekends, but CBS is going to do its best. Come April 8, the Masters tournament drives 14 straight weeks of HD golf coverage. Yes, viewers saw the tourney in HD before, but now CBS adds 13 PGA tournaments to the mix.

Core Digital will supply the HD production truck along with six HD hard-wired cameras that will capture action around selected greens, says Ken Aagaard, CBS Sports senior VP, operations and engineering.

Unfortunately, not all the action will be in high-definition; the ability to transmit it via wireless RF systems is still not possible. That's the primary way to send back signals from the front nine holes of a course, so CBS will shoot in widescreen standard-definition.

Viewers will see the green undulations. Aagaard, though, can't wait until the wireless transmission is secured.

CBS used an Ikegami system during the Super Bowl to transmit shots from across the street. CBS has also been working with Boeing and BST on the required equipment. "While we haven't solved it yet," Aagaard points out," I'd be surprised if, at this time next year, it isn't solved."

The cost premium to produce the HD coverage will be picked up by Argent Mortgage Co. Argent has also signed on to sponsor college football on CBS next fall. That gives some peace of mind to CBS executives, who prowl the turf for HD sports sponsorships.