AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club draws interest from sports fans around the world.
And when Spanish-speaking fans are watching Masters action on ESPN in Latin America or ESPN Deportes in the U.S., they’re hearing ESPN golf analyst Francisco “Paco” Aleman.
Aleman, who joined ESPN in 1994, is calling the action from Augusta with play-by-play announcer (and former LPGA player) Silvia Bertolaccini and on-course reporter John Sutcliffe.
Aleman and Bertolaccini work from a studio in the television compound at Augusta National, providing Spanish commentary for the world feed, which is very similar to the video images that are airing on ESPN in the United States.
Aleman discussed the event and ESPN’s coverage with Front Row:
Is the U.S. Hispanic audience for golf growing?
I think the more players from Latin America that we have, the more interested people are going to be. With Camilo Villegas from Colombia, with Angel Cabrera from Argentina, we need some players from Mexico to come here and play but it’s not easy to qualify for the Masters. We are very fortunate to have a Latin America winner here with Angel Cabrera so we are sure that we are going to have him every year because all the Masters champions are invited. But I think the Hispanic population is growing in the States and with that the interest in golf is growing slowly, but growing.
What other golf events will you do this year?
The majors, the World Golf Championships, the Players Championship, the President’s Cup, 11-12 more PGA Tour events, a couple of LPGA events. We cover basically the most important tournaments of the year.
Who are the players your audience mostly interested in following?
Of course when Tiger [Woods] is on the leaderboard, people are more interested because he is one of the most recognized athletes in the world. People who don’t normally watch golf on TV, when Tiger is leading the Masters or leading one of the tournaments, they turn on the TV. It transcends everything. They want to see a guy like [Phil] Mickelson, or sometimes maybe they’re interested in the young kids, and of course when Cabrera is close to the leaders, the attention is there.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will have live television coverage of today’s second round of the Masters from 3-7:30 p.m. ET (re-air, 8-11 p.m. on ESPN). In addition to live play, this year, for the first time, a 30-minute preview show is airing prior to all four rounds of the Masters in Spanish-speaking Latin America.