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PGA Tour strikes new media deal across a variety of platforms

Calling it the “culmination of a long-term strategic planning process’’ designed to best serve its fans through traditional broadcast, Over-the-Top streaming (OTT) and emerging technologies, the PGA Tour today announced its new nine-year domestic media rights portfolio for 2022-2030.

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The deal includes new agreements with existing partners ViacomCBS and Comcast/NBC Sports Group, as well as a new long-term relationship with Disney and ESPN+.

“These new deals will be a major win for our fans, bringing an elevated commitment from all three partners to help us expand and innovate our content and its delivery,’’ said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

Financial details will not be disclosed, but Monahan said the deal will put the Tour in a position to significantly increase player earnings, deliver more value to our tournaments and sponsors, and ultimately allow us to continue to grow our charitable footprint. ‘’

There was no mention of how the new deal actually will increase TV ratings, which only rise to slightly-above miniscule even when Tiger Woods is in the field. Given that Woods seems to withdraw from more tournaments than he plays these days due to injuries, it’s doubtful the rating will increase. The new deal, however, allows the Tour to spread its brand across more platforms and aim at a younger demographic, which it desperately needs.

CBS and NBC will maintain weekend coverage of most FedExCup tournaments, with CBS averaging 19 events and NBC eight events each season through the life of the agreements. Under the new schedule, one network will televise all three FedExCup Playoffs events each year, starting with NBC in 2022 and generally alternating with CBS.

NBC Sports Group also will continue as the Tour cable partner, with Golf Channel providing all early-round coverage and early weekend coverage of every FedExCup event each season, along with PGA Tour Champions and the Korn Ferry Tour.

One of the main components of the new agreements will see the PGA Tour assume responsibility of the onsite production area and technical infrastructure each week. That’s another way to say “control the message.’’

CBS and NBC will still use their own production and announce teams, led by their producers, directors and production personnel.

Also as part of the new deal, the Tour appears to be have thrown a bone to Golf Channel, in that the LPGA will continue as anchor programming on Golf Channel, along with expanded exposure for LPGA Tour events on NBC and CBS each year, beyond the U.S. Women’s Open, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and AIG Women’s British Open, which are already on network.

Specifically, the Tour secured the long-term extension of the LPGA/Golf Channel partnership (2022-2030) with ancillary programming, including a season preview, season review and Road to the CME Group Tour Championship. In addition, Golf Channel will provide dedicated programming for the Symetra Tour each year.

 

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