Augusta National, home to The Masters, is one of the most iconic and hollowed sports grounds in the world. With no Tiger Woods in the tournament this year, will it be Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, or Phil Mickelson that steals the show and hearts of millions across the world? I’m not sure what player will win, but in a brave new world of live streaming look no further than Apple TV and Roku to take over The Masters.
In 2015 I showed that iPhone and iPad would be my device of choice for watching The Masters. This year however, myself and many others will be looking Apple TVs and Rokus to lead the charge. According to a report released by Adobe Digital Index TV, connected device viewing of TV everywhere content — including The Masters — is up 31% year-over-year.
For years we as consumers have been enamored with mobile devices for video viewing, but the recent growth in connected and smart TVs is leading a shift back to TVs as our device of choice for sports. With connected TVs you can view the four-day Masters event from start to finish without interruption or viewing only what the network wants to show you. It provides the option to follow certain players, watch certain holes, or just follow the normal broadcast. You can also choose to airplay from your phone to the connected TV onto your television for the content that is available for free.
Sports has long been the last egg to drop in a world demanding ala carte programming, but the Super Bowl, March Madness and other sports are now all live streaming some of their product for free without authentication. Twitter just bought into NFL Thursday Night Football. This is great for cord-cutting consumers who hunger for access to the major sporting events and also for content creators who can get access to the growing availability of digital advertising. For advertisers, a digital world provides an opportunity to target and create calls to action for consumers who have long been fast-forwarding through their linear ads anyway.
I’ll be watching interacting with The Masters app on most of my devices this week, but I’ll be looking to watch Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, or Phil Mickelson to put on the green jacket streamed through my Apple TV on my big screen at home.