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Masters Gives ESPN Rights to Par 3 Contest

The Masters continues to take the clamps off itself as a television product, as this year it will allow ESPN to televise the annual Par 3 Contest on the Wednesday prior to the tournament.

The April 9 event will mark the first time it has been televised. ESPN will air it from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. (EST).

The tournament -- which only televised the back nine holes until five years ago -- is making the move in an effort to reach out to younger viewers.

“It is an event everyone enjoys, and we think it will demonstrate to kids just how fun golf can be,” said Billy Payne, chairman of the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club.

ESPN will begin carrying the first two rounds of the four-day tournament next year, both on the flagship network and its Spanish-language outlet, ESPN Deportes. USA Network was the previous rights holder. The ESPN networks have also aired the Masters internationally since 1993.

CBS carries the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.