Monday, July 7, 2008

Golf Channel to Get Coverage of Pres Cup

Jon Show is reporting a new deal between the NBC and Golf Channel for early coverage of the event. Given that the Pres Cup is owned and operated by the PGA Tour, it makes sense to give coverage of this to TGC since it has a 15 year gig for regular Thursday-Friday coverage. Also, TGC really does go all out to cover the PGA Tour.

Golf Channel is adding cable rights to the Presidents Cup starting in 2009 as the network continues to pursue the rights to some of golf’s larger stand-alone events.

Early-round coverage of the next two Presidents Cups will air on Golf Channel, said two sources with direct knowledge of the agreement. The PGA Tour-owned event pits the U.S. and non-European international players in a team competition held every other year.

Golf Channel obtained the package from NBC, which holds all television rights to the Presidents Cup under a four-tournament deal with the PGA Tour scheduled to run through the 2015 event. Turner televised early rounds of the last four Presidents Cups.

I do find it interesting that NBC owned the rights and then sold them to the Golf Channel. What about that property did NBC not want? Don't answer that sarcastically.

Also, some interesting notes about what could be happening to the contracts for the Open Championship and PGA Championship after they expire.

Sources said Comcast-owned Golf Channel and ESPN are also interested in Turner’s British Open deal that expires after the 2009 event. ESPN and Golf Channel are also said to be interested in PGA Championship and Ryder Cup rights, as well.

Turner is talking with IMG, which represents the R&A in U.S. TV negotiations, to extend the British Open deal. Turner holds the PGA of America’s TV rights through 2011.

This is particularly interesting to me. It seems that perhaps the Worldwide Leader doesn't want anything to do with week to week golf events. They definitely appear interested, though, in obtaining rights to all four major men's championships. Given ESPN's worldwide distribution, it would make sense for the R&A and PGA of America to go that route. The Golf Channel has no presence outside of the United States to leverage.

But, given that Turner has a deal with the PGA of America to run their website, I would imagine it would be difficult to negotiate the television side of that deal away from Turner.

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