GOLFWEEK HAS CBS AND USA NETWORK CLOSE TO MASTERS DEAL
Published October 8, 1996
Despite "mid-summer" speculation on the future TV home of the Masters, CBS and USA Network are "close to wrapping up contracts to return as domestic carriers of the '97 Masters, according to Dave Shedloski of GOLFWEEK. Sources at both networks said an agreement with Augusta National was "imminent." With NBC "making overtures" towards the club and ESPN presenting what sources called "an impressive case" for the U.S. cable rights, there "did appear to be a window of opportunity -- albeit small -- for the outsiders." The later date for finishing the deals "suggests that Masters officials gave extra consideration to the [TV] question and a source close to the club confirmed many new issues were carefully weighed." Shedloski reports the pending rights deal "will probably include a stipulation by the club that CBS produce a host feed more user-friendly" to international partners. In the past, CBS has produced coverage for U.S. viewers, which was also used as the world feed. CBS would now have to produce "a truer world feed, then sub-produce a program for domestic use." U.S. viewers "aren't likely" to notice any coverage change (GOLFWEEK, 10/5).