Champions Tour Announces President Inks TV Deal

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Champions TourPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Rick George has been named president of the Champions Tour, the PGA Tour has announced. The Champions Tour has also agreed to a five-year deal with The Golf Channel, which will become the exclusive cable carrier of the tour's events from 2004-08.
 
George's position is new to the Champions Tour. He will assume the role after the HP Classic of New Orleans in May. His responsibilities will include marketing, tournament operations, player relations and title sponsor relations.
 
George is currently the president and CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, which hosts the PGA Tour's HP Classic of New Orleans.
 
'Over the past four years, Jeff Monday has effectively managed the restructuring of the Champions Tour, as we prepared for the future with new television relationships, a stronger schedule and title sponsor relationships and a much-improved on-site experience for fans and sponsors,' said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. 'Now, we will be able to take advantage of Jeff's experience in a wide variety of the Tour's operations.'
 
George, a University of Illinois graduate, served for seven years as the Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at Vanderbilt University, prior to joining the Fore!Kids Foundation in 1998. His prior experience also includes several years of leadership experience in the athletic departments at the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois.
 
The relationship between the Champions Tour and Golf Channel has been on going. The Golf Channel has all round coverage of 26 Champions Tour events this season, beginning with the MasterCard Championship next week.
 
The new deal will have a similar amount of events broadcasted on the Golf Channel during the 2004 season. Two of the big features of the new deal include coverage times and amount of coverage. The events will be aired live from either 1:30-4:00 PM or 5:00-7:30 PM (ET). Each event will also receive a minimum of 7 1/2 hours of coverage, 2 1/2 hours per day.
 
'This announcement is great news for the Champions Tour,' said Finchem. 'In making this five-year commitment, we have established a foundation which will allow our players to display their talents week-in and week-out in front of golf's most enthusiastic and dedicated audience.'
 
This year, the Golf Channel will broadcast all rounds of 17 events, and will also provide early-round coverage of nine CNBC tournaments. In late August, the Golf Channel will air four-round coverage of its first major championship, the JELD-WEN Tradition from The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in Portland, Ore. It will also air all four rounds of the official season-ending Champions Tour Championship in late October.