The PGA Tour announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services today, a move the Tour says will lead to an increase in digital coverage via their Every Shot Live platform.
Last year’s Players Championship saw the Tour debut the feature, though the tournament itself was cut short quickly due to Covid-19. Other events like the Masters have offered the option to watch every shot from every competitor, and the Masters last year debuted a feature that allowed viewers to curate their own online broadcast with favorite players.
The PGA Tour’s announcement feels like a first step towards offering that option at some point for every tournament they run, although there’s not much detail as to when that would go into effect.
Via the Tour’s release:
A range of AWS services will be utilized in this new media landscape to simplify content delivery, create new digital experiences, and provide enhanced access to archived broadcast footage and highlights.
“We are excited to utilize AWS media services to further enhance new and existing innovative services for our fans,” said Scott Gutterman, the PGA TOUR’s Senior Vice President, Digital Operations. “Features like Every Shot Live and TOURCast will now be powered by AWS, which will allow for a more streamlined process and overall better product for our fans.”
In addition to the theoretical expansion of live streaming access, the partnership will apparently include the Tour offering up their entire digital library for AWS to catalogue and eventually make available on-demand in some form:
As the Official Cloud Provider of the PGA TOUR, this partnership will make it easier to tag and log historic PGA TOUR media assets. Nearly 100 years of content will now be easily accessible to help the TOUR and its media partners enhance its broadcast and digital content quickly and efficiently from around the globe.
AWS will help the TOUR store real-time and historic content that will give fans and media access to content dating back to the 1928 Los Angeles Open. This “data lake” will contain video, audio and images that AWS technology will tag for easy cataloging. This will help the TOUR and its content partners search, review, annotate and package new content and give them instant access to key moments in the TOUR’s history.
“Our hope is to one day give fans access to all of this content to provide them with a deeper and richer enjoyment of our sport,” Gutterman said.
The Players is the PGA Tour’s biggest event (the Tour doesn’t control any of the four majors), and the feature returning this year means an absurd amount of golf will be available that week, though it will be behind the PGA Tour Live subscription window, which for the rest of this year remains hosted on the NBC Sports Gold platform.
THE PLAYERS Championship announced today the return of Every Shot Live for the 2021 event, showcasing more than 32,000 live golf shots over 72 holes from a field of 144 players. All of the coverage will be available to PGA TOUR LIVE subscribers on NBC Sports Gold, with opening-round play free to everyone for the first time.
PGA TOUR Entertainment and NBC Sports Group will accomplish the monumental task by utilizing nearly 120 cameras positioned throughout THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, with each group having its own dedicated stream. Every Shot Live debuted at THE PLAYERS Championship 2020, but only one round of play was contested as the tournament was canceled due to the onset of COVID-19.
The key question, of course, becomes when Every Shot Live is an option on a weekly basis.
That is yet to be determined; if it were going to be available every week starting with the Players, that probably would have made it into a release. But just having it be a goal for the near future is still good news for golf viewers. The biggest complaint about golf coverage remains the lack of golf shown; networks have been improving in that regard, but having the option to actually watch all of the action going on is a big deal.
Hopefully it arrives sooner rather than later.