PGA signs 11-year deal with CBS, ESPN for PGA Cham­pi­onship

Manila Times - - Golf -

PALM BEACH GAR­DENS: As part of its bid to woo more view­ers to the an­nual PGA Cham­pi­onship, the PGA of Amer­ica is switch­ing ca­ble part­ners.

While the main broad­cast of the tour­na­ment re­mains on CBS Sports, the Palm Beach Gar­dens­based PGA said it’s re­plac­ing Turner Sports with ESPN for ca­ble cov­er­age start­ing in 2020.

The PGA, CBS and ESPN an­nounced a new 11-year deal Wed­nes­day. They didn’t dis­close fi­nan­cial terms, but the PGA said the PGA Cham­pi­onship will draw more view­ers in May than in its tra­di­tional time slot Au­gust. Start­ing in 2019, the PGA Cham­pi­onship will be played in May.

“I can tell you from our stand­point, the prop­erty was more valu­able in May than in Au­gust,” CBS Sports Chair­man Sean McManus told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “We are pay­ing a rights fee in­crease. It was def­i­nitely a more at­trac­tive pack­age.”

McManus said the num­ber of house­holds watch­ing on TV is higher in May, and he spoke of a “halo ef­fect” in broad­cast­ing the next ma­jor af­ter the Masters, which is the high­est-rated golf tele­cast of the year.

The PGA Cham­pi­onship had been played in Au­gust for a half- cen­tury. The move to May is a nod to the tele­vi­sion dom­i­nance of foot­ball: The golf cir­cuit re­worked its lineup so the PGA Tour ends its FedEx Cup on Aug. 25, a week be­fore the start of foot­ball.

The new deal calls for ESPN to show week­day rounds. Un­der the con­tract, ESPN and CBS will de­liver a com­bined 175 hours of cov­er­age on broad­cast, ca­ble and dig­i­tal chan­nels.

When the CBS-ESPN deal be­gins in 2020, the PGA Cham­pi­onship will be con­tested in San Fran­cisco. Jupiter res­i­dent Brooks Koepka is the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

Turner Sports had been the PGA Cham­pi­onship’s ca­ble part­ner for 29 years.

Broad­cast­ers and ad­ver­tis­ers covet live sports as the last DVR-proof bas­tion of tele­vi­sion con­tent.

“There is noth­ing like live sports pro­gram­ming to at­tract a mass au­di­ence and drive our busi­ness,” CBS Corp. Pres­i­dent Joe Ian­niello said in a state­ment.

CBS first broad­cast the PGA Cham­pi­onship from 1958 through 1964, and con­tin­u­ously since 1991. The net­work will con­tinue to pro­vide week­end cov­er­age, adding an ex­tra hour Satur­day and Sun­day un­der the new deal.

ESPN’s broad­cast sched­ule has yet to be de­cided.

The Pro­fes­sional Golfers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica is a non­profit head­quar­tered in Palm Beach Gar­dens. The or­ga­ni­za­tion re­ported rev­enue of $108 mil­lion in 2016.

Long based in Palm Beach Gar­dens, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is con­sid­er­ing a move to Frisco, Texas.

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