SBD/August 29, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem Says Interest Remains In Working With Euro Tour

Finchem said one of the issues with a Fox deal was scheduling conflicts
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem yesterday said that there "remains interest" in the PGA Tour and European Tour "working together over the long term," according to Jason Sobel of GOLFCHANNEL.com. This comes after Finchem "previously denied published reports stating the PGA Tour has interest in taking over the European Tour." Finchem: "We recognize that golf is growing, starting to really pick up growth in areas globally where historically where they haven't been, especially on the women's side in some of those areas, like Asia." He added that a strong European Tour "benefits the product domestically, as far as growing interest in the game." Finchem said that the tours "should allow the partnership to grow organically rather than forcing one" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 8/28).

SLY LIKE A FOX? Meanwhile, Finchem said that Fox' news deal with the USGA is "good for the tour over the long run." Finchem: "There are positives -- a few negatives, but there are positives. To have companies invested in the sport in any way results in more focus on the sport from those broadcast companies." He said the PGA Tour has spoken to Fox "a number of times" in the last 10-15 years. Finchem: "We just never got to an arrangement, but we know they have an interest. We had serious, robust conversations in the middle of two of the negotiations in the last three. One of the main issues with them is scheduling. I mean, they have a lot of baseball. They have a lot of NASCAR. ... We really like our two-network arrangement right now, anyways." Finchem said golf on Fox will be "a work in progress." He added of Greg Norman possibly working as a U.S. Open analyst on Fox, "I don't think he has the interest in doing it, but I think he would be good at television" (AP, 8/28).

LET'S MAKE A DEAL: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Sobel wrote it appears Finchem "isn't overly optimistic about soon finding a title sponsor" for the Tampa Bay Championship in the '13-14 season. Finchem "admitted the Tour is still efforting its search." He said of a rumor that the Tour has a Sept. 1 deadline with the event, "I don't think I want to confirm any deadlines. We're making progress in talking about Tampa" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 8/28).
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