Why isn’t the Masters on TV in the morning? That’s the way Augusta likes it

With more working from home than ever, watching the Masters on TV on Thursday and Friday morning sounds like a great idea. It’s too bad that’s not possible.

Every year, it becomes a point of contention as to why the Masters isn’t broadcast in the morning for its opening rounds, and 2020 is no different in that regard, even with the tournament in November instead of April. There’s really no great answer for the question of ‘Why not?’ either. The Augusta National Golf Club officials have simply chosen to not allow the event to be broadcast in the early-round mornings.

Explaining the Masters TV schedule

The world of sports has become an open book in a lot of ways in recent years. Athletes let fans into their lives via social media, and official team accounts attempt to do the same. But at Augusta National Golf Club, they believe there’s a saturation point that shouldn’t be reached. 

CBS has been broadcasting the Masters for more than 60 years, always on a one-year contract, according to Golf Digest. And as part of those agreements, Augusta National doesn’t pursue the most bang for the buck, choosing instead to leave certain amounts of the proceedings off television.

It was only in 1995 that the first two rounds of the Masters got any television coverage at all, and only within the last two decades that Sunday’s final round was all shown on TV. That leaves millions of dollars on the table that Augusta National chooses not to take in the interests of instead providing an aura of exclusivity.

Even in 2020, when no patrons are allowed at the Masters, the first three rounds won’t see any televised golf until 1 p.m. That’s moved forward from Thursday and Friday in 2019, when those broadcasts didn’t start until 3 p.m., but it still leaves about five hours of golf on both Thursday and Friday untelevised. 

Masters TV schedule 2020

ESPN and CBS will handle the coverage of this year’s Masters, with ESPN broadcasting the first two rounds and CBS handling the weekend. Normally, the Par 3 Contest would take place on Wednesday on ESPN, too.

Click here to learn more about different pricing options with the ESPN+ platform.

How to stream the Masters before it’s on TV

Masters.com will stream the entirety of the 2020 Masters Tournament, but ESPN+ will also provide streaming options for viewers, including Amen Corner, Featured Groups and two sets of featured holes (4, 5 and 6, plus 15 and 16).

Masters streaming schedule

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