The Golf Channel will become the PGA Tour's exclusive cable partner in 2007 under TV deals announced Wednesday--ESPN previously had a piece of that golf action.
Long-time PGA partner ABC, co-owned with ESPN--is also not in the package, with the broadcast rights now divided up between NBC and CBS.
“We would like to acknowledge the contributions that ABC and ESPN have made to our sport over many years,” said PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem. “They have been tremendous partners, and we thank them for their support and commitment.”
Under its whopping 15-year deal, The Golf Channel will cover the first three events tee to final green (Mercedes Championships, Sony Open, and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic), as well as a number of fall tournaments and the first two rounds of all PGA money events.
The tour has also pledged to help promote the channel and grow its audience beyond the current 70 million homes.
In six-year deals each, both kicking in in 2007, CBS will up its event total from 16 to 19 tournaments, while NBC will double its coverage from 5 events to 10.