The PGA Tour announced a host of changes to its 2020 schedule, adjusting for the Covid-19 pandemic. The British Open was canceled and among other things, the Masters was moved to the week of November 9th.
The Masters move is a particularly interesting one because it will impact the CBS schedule. Normally, CBS airs the NCAA Tournament through the first week of April, and then pivots to the Masters. The move to November means the tournament will coincide with college football and the NFL.
The Masters runs Thursday through Sunday, and Saturday and Sunday feature extensive coverage on CBS. That particular November Saturday is also Week 11 of the college football season. For the time being, the most notable matchup would appear to be South Carolina at LSU. That would likely be a prime time game, so we could be looking at a full day of Masters coverage immediately leading into what could be a massive SEC matchup.
It’s also worth noting CBS would be airing games earlier in the day that would now be replaced by Masters coverage. More than likely the network would move games to CBS Sports Network, but one has to wonder how their TV deals work with the various conferences for that kind of option.
We won’t know the NFL schedule until potentially May 9th, but we know there will be a sizable schedule of football that Sunday. Even if we get the maximum of six teams on bye, CBS would still have game coverage for the 1 p.m. and 4:05/4:25 p.m. slots. Do they ask the NFL about moving it to CBS Sports Network? Do they potentially work with NBC to swap Sunday Night Football so NBC covers the regular slate on Sunday? Or maybe NFL Network works itself into the mix.
This has been a unique situation, and it’s only getting a little crazier with the changes. We still don’t know if the NFL and college football will start on time, so the games scheduled for that weekend might end up being different based on what happens with football. Plenty can and probably will change between now and early November.