The PGA Tour has reached a nine-year agreement with multiple media companies to expand broadcast coverage in the US over the next decade.
When the new contracts begin in 2022, the tour will continue to have most of its tournaments televised by NBC and CBS at weekends, while keeping early-round coverage on Golf Channel. NBC and CBS will alternate coverage of the three season-ending FedEx Cup events until 2030.
Separately, and for the first time, the tour’s digital rights were negotiated concurrently with the linear offering and will air on ESPN+. PGA Tour Live, its subscription video service that launched in 2015, will live exclusively on the Disney-owned ESPN+ from 2022. It will be expanded to include four live content channels nearly every week of the FedEx Cup season.
While the tour did not release financial details of the new contracts, it is believed the overall package will deliver the tour significantly more in rights fees than the reported $400 million it receives annually under existing agreements, with some estimates putting the new deal at close to $680 million.
As part of the new agreements, the PGA Tour, in alliance with the LPGA Tour, secured continued coverage for the women’s tour on the Golf Channel, with additional tournament coverage of at least seven events on NBC and CBS. The Golf Channel also will provide dedicated coverage to the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s developmental circuit.
Talking about the new TV and streaming deals, PGA Tour chief media officer Rick Anderson said: “One of the things we are really trying to do here over the next several years is to expand the amount of content we produce. Think of a tournament where approximately 30,000 shots are hit. Today, with all we do, we’re still capturing just 30 per cent of the shots. When we started PGA Tour Live, if we had someone shoot 59 or make an ace, there weren’t cameras there to capture it. That’s what we are driving toward. Over time, the idea is to experiment and find out what content people want the most.”
At this week’s Players Championship, the tour will make every shot hit in competition available through its PGA Tour Live platform, the first time the entire competition has been covered.