College golf could be in line for air time

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1SooBin KimWashington  68.24 
2Leona MaguireDuke  69.16 
3Celine BoutierDuke  69.48 
4Alison LeeUCLA  69.82 
5Annie ParkUSC  69.83 

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1South Carolina 70.50 
2Washington 70.69 
3Duke 71.00 
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1Cheng Tsung PanWashington  67.00 
2Lee McCoyGeorgia  67.56 
3Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  67.58 
4Maverick McNealyStanford  67.74 
5Charlie DanielsonIllinois  68.41 

Men's Team Rankings »

1Illinois 69.06 
2Florida State 69.55 
3Oregon 69.95 
4Texas 70.07 
5LSU 70.08 

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.

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