Comcast’s Golf Channel is in and ABC is out, courtesy of the new long-term broadcast/cable deals engineered by the PGA Tour.
NBC and CBS signed six-year renewals, but the parties declined to discuss contractual terms. NBC Sports has agreed to double its coverage of PGA Tour events from 2007 through 2012, including the Players Championship and the final three season-ending matches in the Tour Championship.
CBS also will expand its coverage, taking on 19 events instead of the 16 that are part of the four-year contract expiring at the end of this year. CBS will do the majority of events originating on the West Coast, including the Buick Invitational from San Diego and L.A.’s Nissan Open.
Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, praised the expanded coverage of NBC and CBS as providing “significant benefits” to TV viewers and commercial sponsors. Showing there are no hard feelings toward the non-renewing ABC and ESPN, Finchem called the two networks “tremendous partners” and thanked them “for their support and commitment” over the years.
ABC and ESPN bowed out because they lost too much money on the current contract.
The Golf Channel gets an “exclusive cable partnership” with the PGA Tour for 15 years. Deal includes early-round coverage of all official money events plus full coverage of the first three events of the FedEx Cup season.
In addition to events, Golf Channel will help the PGA Tour promote and brand itself.