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CBS Sports Staff Makes TV Magic At Pebble Beach

By Marissa Schwartz, Reporter, MarissaSchwartz@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Feb 08 2014 12:45:45 AM CST
CBS Sports Staff Makes TV Magic At Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -

Just about every moment of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am is captured on national television.  It takes hundreds of staff members, long hours and literally tons of equipment to pull it off.

On Friday, we got a rare look at how the CBS Sports crew pulls it off as they follow the PGA Tour around the country.  When they go on the road, production crews manage up to 160 different screens at a time for cameras and graphics.  It takes a lot of eyes to make it all run smoothly.

Minutes before going live on air, everyone's buzzing and making sure everything is in place. 

"One of the main things I'm doing is trying to keep everybody relaxed before we go on air for the next three hours," said CBS Golf and NFL coordinating producer Lance Barrow. 

It takes fuel, to keep this crew on their toes. 

"There's a lady from New York.  She always asks for a turkey sandwich, cut the crusts," said Roger Perez with Unique Catering.

From cameras to computers, everything is packed up tightly so they can set up and tear down quickly from city to city.

"We're in San Diego one week, we're in Phoenix the next week, pack everything up, drive off and start setting up Monday, Tuesday," said CBS Sports Operations executive vice president Ken Aagaard.

It takes directors, producers and even golf cart runners to make it all seamless for viewers. 

"It’s hundreds of people that come to support everything from spotting, to camera people, to replay people, to talent.  It's always a big show," Aagaard said.

This year some new technology is helping staff cover the tournament from different camera angles. 

"Our wireless cameras are done a whole different way than we've done in the past," Aagaard said.

"So as the cameras move around, its kind of like a cell phone, it'll get close to one antenna, and farther away from another one," said CBS Sports wireless technician Scott Lampert.

"It rarely breaks up, even when they're moving.  When they're driving around, you see almost perfect pictures," said BSI chief engineer Earl Freeman.

Achieving the perfect picture doesn't always come easy. 

"You know what's great about golf, you never know what's going to happen from one moment to another.  so it's hard sometimes to plan," Barrow said.

Crews work 12 to 14 hour days.

"To be honest when you are doing golf, its sun up to sundown," Aagaard said.

Weather is also a major factor.  When it rains, the tournament is delayed and the days get longer.  They may work hard, but there are lot of laughs.

"We're like a travelling circus," Aagaard said.

After Pebble Beach, the CBS Sports crew heads down to Southern California for the next PGA tour location in Pacific Palisades.