PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced new television rights deals which will extend coverage on CBS and NBC for an additional nine years through 2021. That will put the broadcast contracts in synch with the PGA Tour’s cable contract with the Golf Channel.
The Golf Channel, it should be noted, was rolled into NBCUniversal by Comcast when it acquired control of NBCU.
CBS Sports will continue its current broadcast television package, an average of 20 tournaments through the life of the agreements, while NBC Sports will continue to televise an average of 10 events per year.
Highlights of the CBS package include the majority of the popular West Coast Swing; a strong spring and summer schedule; the end of the FedExCup Regular Season including the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the play-in event to the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup, the Wyndham Championship; and coverage of The Barclays to begin the Playoffs. CBS will maintain more than 130 hours of live weekend coverage per year.
NBC will continue to have a strong first quarter of coverage including two World Golf Championships events – the Accenture Match Play Championship and Cadillac Championship – and the Southern Swing; extended coverage of The Players Championship in May with limited commercial interruption; and the final three Playoff events: the Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the FedExCup season-ending Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. NBC also will continue coverage of the biennial Presidents Cup. In all, NBC will have more than 75 hours of live coverage annually.
Golf Channel will continue to open the PGA Tour season with four-round coverage of the first three tournaments, provide exclusive early-round coverage of the tournaments televised by CBS and NBC, and provide four-round coverage of alternate events and the Fall Series. In addition, Golf Channel will continue to broadcast prime time replays of its early round coverage, and will have rights to expand its exclusive lead-in coverage and replays for every event televised by CBS and NBC.
Financial terms of the new television deals were not disclosed. However, Finchem indicated that rights fee increases in this new term will allow the PGA Tour to “grow financial opportunities for players, invest in digital assets for fans globally that will create more one-on-one interactions between players, tournaments and fans and will position the Tour to allow for increasing charitable contributions.”
The new agreements also will provide for innovative coverage on digital platforms and the Golf Channel, including:
-A wide range of simulcast coverage of live tournament action on various PGA TOUR digital platforms starting with PGATOUR.COM, as well as CBSports.com, NBCSports.com and GolfChannel.com
-Additional digital coverage of a number of tournaments featuring the ability to enjoy coverage from marquee holes, competition highlights and regular news updates from tournament sites; and
-In partnership with NBC and Golf Channel, innovative, new live complementary tournament coverage on Golf Channel, which will air along with NBC’s coverage.