ESPN is reporting that the PGA Tour has signed a six year deal with NBC and CBS. It also apparently has signed a 15-year deal with the Golf Channel to broadcast the first two rounds of tournaments, plus all of the Sony, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, and events that take place after the Tour Championship.
Among the prestige events, NBC Sports will broadcast the Accenture Match Play Championship (to be played in Tucson), the CA Championship at Doral and three of the FedEx Cup Championship series tournaments: the Dusche bank Championship, the Barclays Classic, and the Tour Championship at East Lake.
CBS Sports gets the World Golf Championship event at Firestone and the first of three FedEx Cup Championship Series, probably the Western Open.
Finchem did not say how much the deals were for, but said that the benefits to the players would increase by 100 million a year during the life of the contract. He also noted that the prize money would level out.
ABC, which walked away from the table a couple of weeks ago is not entirely out of golf, though:
“We will continue to have a strong golf presence, including on SportsCenter and with the U.S. Opens, British Opens, LPGA coverage, specials and more,” ESPN and ABC Sports said in a statement. “We’ve enjoyed a long relationship with the PGA Tour on both networks and wish them well.”
A full schedule will be out next week, but Finchem said that the Players Championship will move from March to May.
It seems like a pretty good schedule to me. What I was especially interested in was seeing that the first two rounds of tournaments continue to be broadcast. It’ll be interesting to see what the Golf Channel has planned.
At least it didn’t end up on OLN.