SBJ/February 11-17, 2013/Media

Canada’s Shaw broadens TV deal with PGA Tour

Shaw Communications, one of the major distributors of television in Canada, has broadened its broadcast deal with the PGA Tour to include the 2015 and 2017 Presidents Cup, as well as coverage of the new PGA Tour Canada.

Shaw is a distributor similar to a Time Warner Cable or Comcast in the U.S. It also owns Global TV, one of the three major over-the-air networks in Canada. Through its deal with the PGA Tour, Shaw-owned Global will carry 26 tour events, including the FedEx Cup playoffs and two of the World Golf Championship events. The agreement, which runs through 2018, is an extension of an existing deal, but the Presidents Cup represents new programming for Global.

“Canada is a robust market and that’s a very important presence for the tour,” said Tim Leisure, the tour’s senior vice president, international television.

The weekend PGA Tour broadcasts by tour partners NBC or CBS are simulcast on Global TV throughout Canada and its nearly 12 million households. Global sells its own advertising for the simulcast, but the tournaments’ title sponsors retain their on-air presence on the leaderboard and other graphics. Global also uses the NBC or CBS analysts.

The new deal also gives Shaw presenting sponsorship of the RBC Canadian Open. Shaw is in the process of deciding which of its business units it will use on the presenting sponsorship.

“This really solidifies our presence as the broadcast leader of golf in Canada,” said Barbara Williams, Shaw Communications’ senior vice president of content.

The agreement also will benefit the tour’s newest property, PGA Tour Canada, a feeder tour that will qualify players for the developmental Web.com Tour. In this deal, Global TV has agreed to run a weekly 30-minute show featuring highlights from PGA Tour Canada events and features on its players.

The highlights will be gathered by local Global TV affiliates and produced by PGA Tour Entertainment to air on Sundays leading into Global’s final-round broadcasts of PGA Tour events.

Content from the new tour also will be used on a variety of digital outlets, including PGATour.com and a new website that Shaw is developing to promote PGA Tour Canada.

The new tour begins its 2013 season in June and seven tournaments have been scheduled so far. More events could be added. The top five players on the Canadian tour’s order of merit will earn playing status for the 2014 Web.com Tour.

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