SBD/Issue 64/Sports Media

LPGA Reportedly Looking At Getting Out Of Golf Channel Deal

Thirty-Eight LPGA Rounds Were Tape
Delayed On Golf Channel This Year  

The LPGA is "looking for a way out of the 10-year contract that made Golf Channel the exclusive cable partner for the women's tour beginning this year," according to sources cited by Ron Sirak of GOLF WORLD. The deal puts the LPGA "at the end of a long line of live programming available" to the net, including the PGA, European, Nationwide and Champions tours. Of the 94 official LPGA rounds this year, 38 "were on delayed tape and 11 had no TV coverage at all." Sources said that when Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal is completed, the "new Golf Channel will put more emphasis on live programming" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 12/13 issue). LPGA Chief Communications Officer David Higdon called the report “absolutely false.” Higdon: “We look forward to the next nine years with the Golf Channel” (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

EARLY TEE TIME: Golf Channel has announced Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams will serve as co-hosts for "Morning Drive," the net's first live morning show. The show is set to debut Jan. 3 from 7:00-9:00am ET from Golf Channel's Orlando studios. Kuselias has been at ESPN since '03, where he worked on various TV and radio shows. Williams co-hosted an early morning show on Sirius XM's "Mad Dog Radio" (Golf Channel). Golf Channel Senior VP/Programming, Production & Operations Tom Stathakes said that the show "will be reminiscent" of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He added that he "wished the Golf Channel had created the morning show earlier since fresh programming doesn't begin until evenings on some days" (AP, 12/10).

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