CBS, NBC extend golf contracts

PGA to remain on broadcasters through 2021

The PGA Tour has renewed its agreements with CBS and NBC through 2021, and new deals rep the longest broadcast contracts in the history of the professional golf org.

The nine-year agreements with the nets will begin in 2013, carrying them through the end of the PGA’s 15-year pact with Peacock cabler the Golf Channel.

Tour commish Tim Finchem didn’t disclose financial terms but he did say that his org’s rights “were increasing.”

CBS Sports topper Sean McManus noted that the deal is the latest in a string of long-term agreements for the Eye’s sports arm.

“Traditionally we’ve done four- or six-year deals,” McManus said. “It allows our advertisers to plan of the long term, but it’s also attractive to us, because knowing what our programming schedule is going to be like for that long allows us to lock in a significant part of our programming schedule.”

Finchem said digital rights were a large part of the new deal. “A vast number of these events will be in simulcast form (on next-gen devices), and that assists our viewership by including tablets and smartphones and other things that will grow a lot in the next five years,” Finchem said.Golf has been a testing ground for new technology in recent months. The most recent Masters Tournament was broadcast in 3D by Comcast, a move that McManus said he finds interesting but not necessarily feasible.

“The issue with 3D is finding somebody to fund it,” said McManus. “The USTA is doing 3D at the U.S. Open (tennis) this year, but it’s being paid for by a sponsor. If someone can underwrite the costs of 3D programming, it’s attractive, but short of finding somebody to fund that, it’s going to be done on a very selective basis.”

Finchem also stressed the contribution to the PGA’s charitable giving. “Barring some significant economic downturn, we will reach $2 billion in charitable giving in 2014,” Finchem said, “and I think I can say with some confidence that we could break the 3 billion mark before these agreements end in (2021).”

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