Berson: PGA, U.S. Open Coverage Latest Examples of CBS Sports Network's Expansion7/29/2012 12:30 AM Eastern
Last week's announcement of its move into U.S. Open Tennis Championships and PGA Championship coverage mark the latest examples of CBS Sports Network flanking CBS Sports coverage around signature events.
The national cable network is adding coverage from the practice range before next month's 2012 PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., complementing CBS's presentation of golf's final major of the season. Moreover, CBS Sports Network will step on court to present match action and studio fare from the U.S. Open Tennis Championships from Flushing, Meadows, N.Y., where CBS proffers middle weekend and marquee and championship-round match coverage.
David Berson, executive vice president, CBS Sports and president, CBS Sports Network, in an interview, pointed out that CBS Sports Network works in conjunction with the broadcaster's college football coverage of Southeastern Conference and the historic academy rivalry between Navy and Army. The cable network also presents highlights and analysis of the March Madness men's basketball tournament.
CBS Sports Network will air On The Range each day of the PGA Championship tournament, Aug. 9-12 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (ET), featuring player interviews, analysis and a preview of the day's action. Grant Boone, Brian Crowell and Bobby Clampett will host the show.
"It's like what we did with Masters on the Range back in April," said Berson. "We're going to see the players on the range and then they're going to talk to our guys after the warm-up."
For its part, CBS Sports will air live 18-hole coverage of the third and final rounds of the 94th PGA Championship, with CBS Sports Network encoring that action, as well as showcasing classic championship from prior years.
"We're looking back at great shots, great finishes and great rounds," said Berson.
CBS Sports Network's will have an even bigger presence around the final major of the tennis season. At the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the service will augment CBS's coverage of the U.S. Open during Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3), televising the most compelling third- and fourth-round matches not shown during CBS Sports' live broadcast window from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CBS Sports Network will also televise a live studio show, Today at the U.S. Open, in the hour leading to match play on that weekend.
"Year in year out [The Open] is one of the signature events in New York. CBS and the [United States Tennis Association] are longtime partners," said Berson. "We're always discussing better ways to showcase the event."
In addition, for the first time in tournament history, CBS Sports Network will televise U.S. Open qualifying matches, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 21 through Friday, August 24.
"Now, viewers are going to get the opportunity to see the intensity and drama of those trying to qualify for a place in the main draw," said Berson.
CBS Sports Network acttually will initiate its tennis coverage July 25 at 10 p.m., with the first of a quartet of 30-minute studio shows, Road to the U.S Open, chronicling the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series. Programming also includes encores of classic U.S. Open matches, featuring the greatest moments from top American players, beginning Sunday Aug. 19 at 9 p.m. (ET).
Asked if the tennis coverage could become a staple of CBS Sports Network's lineup, Berson said: "We'll play it by ear and see how things unfold. The USTA is a great partner."