CBS pushing for players to do their part to boost broadcast

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, file photo, while being interviewed by broadcaster Jim Nantz, left, Phil Mickelson holds up a silver dollar that belonged to his grandfather during an awards ceremony on the 18th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, in Pebble Beach, Calif. Nantz has worked the Final Four and Masters for the last 34 years and is missing them in 2020 because of the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, file photo, while being interviewed by broadcaster Jim Nantz, left, Phil Mickelson holds up a silver dollar that belonged to his grandfather during an awards ceremony on the 18th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, in Pebble Beach, Calif. Nantz has worked the Final Four and Masters for the last 34 years and is missing them in 2020 because of the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FORT WORTH, Texas – FORT WORTH, TexasJim Nantz will be alone in the broadcast booth when the PGA Tour resumes its schedule Thursday. That's not the only voice CBS Sports wants to hear at Colonial.

In announcing the broadcast and productions plans for the return to golf, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said the network would have what Nantz dubbed a “confession cam." Players would walk into a tent during the round and talk briefly into a remote camera.

McManus also said the network has been working more aggressively to have players wear microphones, and that CBS already has received commitments from some players.

“There's probably a greater appreciation for wanting to contemporize golf coverage,” McManus said Monday on a conference call. “Players are beginning to realize they can play a real role in making the product more interesting at home.”

Nantz, who typically has analyst Nick Faldo at his side in the 18th hole tower, put the onus on the players to liven golf broadcasts and help expand the audience.

“It's a wonderful opportunity for the game ... to go before a sports-starved nation and have a chance to create a wider fan base than it's ever been before,” Nantz said. “A lot has to be personality driven. We need to hear from the players. It's something that's not obtrusive. It's an opportunity for players to invest in their own game.”

The tour resumes with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial, the first competition in 90 days because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down sports worldwide. Golf is the second major sport to resume behind motorsports.

CBS is doing its part of reduce health risks with a production crew that McManus said will be roughly half of what it is for a normal PGA Tour event, with operations such as graphics and video shading in six locations.