SBJ/January 24 - 30, 2005/This Weeks Issue

NBC extends its deal with USGA to 2014

NBC has extended a rights agreement with the U.S. Golf Association through 2014, guaranteeing the U.S. Open golf tournament a 20-year run on the Peacock Network.

“I think this deal probably goes out further than any other deal in television right now,” said Ken Schanzer, president of NBC Sports.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The USGA’s annual report says it generated $92 million in 2002, the most recent year for which it reports financial data, from tournaments and championships, including broadcast rights fees.

Related Data:

Men's U.S. Open ratings

NBC broadcast 35 hours of USGA event coverage last year and will maintain a similar schedule in future years, Schanzer said. That includes the U.S. Opens for men, women, seniors, amateurs and, in alternating years, boys and girls juniors.

The network first picked up USGA rights in 1995 with a deal that ran through 2001. It then extended that agreement through 2008, before deciding to seek an early renewal.

“We had a couple years to run but decided we were both very comfortable with the relationship,” Schanzer said. “Each side felt the relationship had been rewarding and wanted to go forward as long as we could.”

NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open entered its 10th year at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.

The golf advertising market has struggled in recent years, and all of the networks covering the sport are widely reported to be losing money on their golf programming. Schanzer would not comment on the financial performance of the USGA properties, other than to say “this is a unique premium property that has held its value very well.”

Now that NBC and the USA Network share a common parent company, NBC Sports has ties with five major golf organizing bodies — the USGA, PGA Tour, PGA of America, LPGA and Augusta National. A common sales staff represents all NBC and USA sports programming.

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