Golf Channel Big Winner for 07 PGA Tour Deal

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 11, 2006, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Speculation ended today when PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that The Golf Channel will become the exclusive cable television home for the PGA Tour's official money events beginning in 2007. The exclusive deal is not only unprecedented in golf, but also will make the 24-hour golf network the Tour's biggest television partner.
 
In the new contract, 48 PGA Tour events per year will be televised by The Golf Channel, giving the cable network a lions share of the television coverage and the entire cable package.
 
The Golf Channels annual coverage will feature early-round coverage of the entire FedEx Cup season, including the World Golf Championships, The Tour Championship ' the official end of the points season that will determine the FedEx Cup winner and provide what is expected to be sports largest payoff ' and The Players Championship, the PGA Tours crown jewel. Early round coverage also will include several popular late-season tournaments, including the Target World Challenge, Shark Shootout and a WGC event scheduled to take place in China. In total, early-round coverage of 33 events will air on The Golf Channel.
 
Also included in the package will be 15 full, four-round events beginning with the seasons first three tournaments ' Mercedes Championships, Sony Open in Hawaii and Bob Hope Chrysler Classic ' and the seven official money events following The Tour Championship. The network also will provide full coverage of the five tournaments played opposite golfs majors and World Golf Championships.
 
Adding a very significant PGA Tour role for The Golf Channel further solidifies the presentation of our sport to the fans, Finchem said. The Golf Channel has developed at a tremendous rate over only a decade. This agreement provides us the opportunity to work together with The Golf Channel to fully inform our fans about our players, tournaments, sponsors and charity. We are delighted with the commitment they are making to significant production and promotional enhancements in the years to come.
 
David Manougian
Golf Channel President David Manougian.
Through the 15-year agreement, both the PGA Tour and The Golf Channel are looking forward to creating a new golf television landscape, just as the cable network did when it launched in January 1995. Given The Golf Channels core golf audience and ever-growing number of new viewers, developing a long-term, strategic partnership with the Tour makes sense for both parties, said David Manougian, president of The Golf Channel. Golf fans worldwide know us as Golfs Home, and we are looking forward to showcasing the excitement and drama the Tour can deliver to our viewers week after week. Coupled with our exclusive commitments to the Nationwide Tour, Champions Tour and European Tour, and a generous schedule of LPGA Tour and other top competition from around the world, The Golf Channel will reinforce its strength as the best destination for golf on TV.
 
These new agreements represent a huge step forward for The Golf Channel, and offer fans of PGA Tour golf a consistent and quality home for a very significant amount of programming, said Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. The Golf Channel has had a great first 11 years, and this dynamic new long-term relationship will take it to the next level in the years to come. We look forward with significant enthusiasm to our expanded PGA Tour partnership.
 
The new agreement further strengthens the long-standing partnership the PGA Tour has with The Golf Channel, which will continue to be the exclusive television home for the Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour.
 
Under the leadership of Manougian, The Golf Channel has become the gold standard of niche networks. Domestic distribution has increased by more than 89 percent and begins 2006 reaching into nearly 70 million homes. And through its international ventures, the network reaches 90 percent of the worlds golfers. From a niche cable start-up in 1995 that many industry pundits didnt give a chance to survive, conversely, The Golf Channel has thrived ' a fact the PGA Tour and its tournament sponsors fully understood when the new deal was made. It has been just 11 years since co-founder Arnold Palmer flipped the switch that delivered The Golf Channel to a golf-hungry television audience ' and cable had its first truly niche network.
 
Related Video:
  • The Golf Channel inks 15-year television deal with PGA Tour
  • Players comment on '07 PGA Tour schedule and new TV deals
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

    Getty Images

    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

    Getty Images

    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

    Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.