College golf could be in line for air time
New deals between college conferences and television networks could result in increased exposure for college golf. The soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference (currently Pac-10) was the latest conference to sign a major TV deal, announcing May 4 a 12-year agreement with Fox and ESPN.
The contract, which will begin with the 2012-13 season, will be worth more than $2.7 billion, The Associated Press reported. The creation of the Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Digital Network also was announced May 4.
What does this mean for golf? It’s too early to be certain, but college golf’s TV exposure can only increase. The Pac-12 Network will exclusively feature approximately 200 live Olympic-sports telecasts, according to the conference. The Pac-12 Digital Network will feature several hundred live athletic events not covered by ESPN, FOX Sports or the Pac-12 Network.
The creation of the Big Ten Network has helped golf. That network televises a two-hour highlight show of the Big Ten Match Play and one-hour shows of the conference’s men’s and women’s championships. Texas men’s head coach John Fields said he's been told that his team’s Morris Williams Intercollegiate could be televised when the Longhorn Network begins operations.
“I think we have a possibility of being on (television),” UCLA men's coach Derek Freeman said. Washington men's coach Matt Thurmond said, “I think it's inferred that all sports are going to benefit from the new media deals,” especially considering the conference's success in Olympic and non-revenue sports.