PGA Tour Gets Big Rights Fee Increase With NBC, CBS TV Deal
CBS and NBC have agreed on the broad terms of new deals that will see the PGA Tour reap a sizable rights fee increase of around 60%, sources said. The Tour also has agreed to terms with Golf Channel, which will see its rights fee more than double. It is not known if the Tour will take an ownership stake in Golf Channel as part of the deal. Nothing has been signed yet, but the Tour and networks essentially have agreed on terms with only a few minor sticking points remaining. The PGA Tour opted for long-term deals that will run for nine years from '22-30. By early estimates, it is likely that the PGA Tour could bring in around $700M per year with these new deals, compared to its current deals that were worth around $400M. CBS and NBC essentially will keep the same regular-season packages. The big difference will be seen with the FedExCup Playoffs. CBS and NBC will produce all three playoff tournaments, including the Tour Championship, in alternating years. As part of the nine-year deals, NBC will carry the playoffs five times and CBS will carry them four times. The big hold-up is with digital rights, which are currently held by NBC Sports as part of PGA Tour Live and are still being negotiated. ESPN has made an aggressive play for the rights. ESPN+ would carry the digital rights. Discovery also has emerged as a serious contender for the digital rights and appears likely to share them with NBC Sports if they can manage to work out a deal. After initial interest, it appears that Amazon has dropped out of the bidding.
TWITTER REAX: Golfweek's Geoff Shackelford tweeted, "Big news in golf media circles is that not much is changing in terms of where you will find golf on television. That may not excite some but it’s great to see the @PGATOUR valuing ease of finding coverage and it’s current partners. Only surprise is the inability lure @abc @espn." Sports marketer Mike Ryan: "Score one for the incumbents. So much for the disruption from new players in the media landscape landing rights in this opening chapter." Golf writer Ryan Ballengee: "Golf Channel had been worried about what would happen if they lost. Now they have the Tour back and a practical monopoly in tee-time services." More Ballengee: "What I haven't found out in my asking around, or seen in reporting, is what's happening with the LPGA deal and if that's also been settled. The PGA Tour was/is negotiating together with the LPGA."