PGA Tour, LPGA Tour secures expansive multi-year media rights deal

PGA Tour
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR photo

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Heartland Newsfeed/Ambush Sports) — The PGA Tour announced in a press release Monday that they have secured an expansive nine-year media rights deal, which includes deals with two TV networks and a streaming service.

The professional golf organization agreed to a new media rights deal with existing partners Viacom for CBS broadcasts and Comcast for NBC and Golf Channel broadcasts and established a new long-term deal with Disney’s ESPN+. The nine-year deal goes into effect after the current contract ends in 2022.

As a result of the deal, the PGA was able to secure rights agreements for the LGPA Tour, continuing as anchor programming on the Golf Channel, with expanded coverage on NBC and CBS

“The nine-year deals will put us 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,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stated in the release. “Additionally, we are now able to reinvest in our sport in a way never before possible, including production, personnel and technology, and are well-positioned to best serve and grow our fanbase in the years to come.”

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but sources close to the situation told CNBC and The Wall Street Journal the package deal has a total value of roughly $700 million per year, up $300 million from its previous and current broadcast rights deals.

“This agreement is an important milestone in the strategic partnership between the LPGA and the PGA Tour and a great example of the collaboration happening among golf’s biggest stakeholders,” LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said. “Thanks to the enhanced agreement with Golf Channel and increased network coverage on NBC and CBS, more viewers in the U.S. and around the globe will experience the quality and diversity of the LPGA Tour. This gives us a domestic broadcast partner to help deliver another decade of unprecedented growth and provides a foundation that will springboard the women’s game into the future.”

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In the deal, ESPN+ won rights to PGA Tour Live, which will feature four live channels, including featured match pairings to feature entire rounds during tournaments of the Tour’s biggest stars.

“We are looking forward to working with the PGA Tour to bring current and future golf fans the next generation of tour coverage,” ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said. “ESPN+ will offer golf fans unprecedented access and storytelling at an incredible value on the industry’s leading sports streaming platform.”

CBS will average around 19 Tour events, while NBC will average eight events each year. Alternating rights to televise all three FedEx Cup Playoff events will take place each year, with NBC broadcasting the 2022 playoff events before alternating to CBS.

The Tour previously agreed to a 12-year, $2 billion deal with Discovery Networks in 2018, which gave GolfTV media rights for all Tour programming outside of the United States.

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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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