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SBD/August 8, 2013/Media
USGA, Fox Unveil 12-Year Deal For U.S. Open As Some Question Timing Of Announcement
Published August 8, 2013
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BROADCASTING BATTLES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman notes the deal is a "blow to NBCUniversal's NBC Sports, and its Golf Channel, which has tried to brand itself as the top destination for golf fans." USGA President Glen Nager indicated that in addition to the increase in rights fees over the roughly $40M the organization has been collecting, the USGA "decided to go with Fox because of the network's record of reaching a younger demographic and coming up with new ways to televise sports." He said, "You look at what Fox has done when [they] went into football and baseball. They have a record of innovation" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/8). ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi wrote, "The deal offers further proof that Fox is going to do everything it can to bolster its already deep sports roster." It also is a "wakeup call of sorts for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel" (ADWEEK.com, 8/7).
USGA CHIDED FOR TIMING : GOLFCHANNEL.com's John Hawkins wrote the USGA "violated a very sacred tenet" in announcing this news the day before the start of the PGA Championship. Hawkins: "You don’t release such information on the eve of someone else’s major championship." This is "just lousy manners, a transparent and selfish act directed at a rival organization, the PGA of America, ostensibly in retribution for the anchored-putter skirmish that arose between the governing bodies late last year." Golfer Brandt Snedeker tweeted, "Don’t know the relationship between @USGA and @ThePGAofAmerica but seems petty to announce new TV deal today USGA… Couldn’t wait??" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 8/7). Golf blogger Geoff Shackelford wrote the timing of the announcement was a "tacky decision" by the USGA. The agreement was announced in an "utterly low class, ungentlemanly fashion on the eve of the PGA Championship which happens to be run by the organization that did not support us on the anchoring ban. Coincidence?" Shackelford wrote this is a "dark day" for the USGA and "for the game" in general (GEOFFSHACKELFORD.com, 8/7). In Jacksonville, Garry Smits wrote, "It was a tacky move by the USGA, which professes to be the bastion of all things honorable about golf and its rules" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 8/7). Golf Channel's Rich Lerner said the move was a "monumental misstep of bad timing and poor judgment." Lerner: "The prevailing sentiment by the assembled golfing world here in Rochester is one of disbelief because golf's major ruling bodies have always respected each other’s big events, and adhered to an unwritten agreement to not overshadow one another" ("Live from the PGA Championship," Golf Channel, 8/7).