Tour signs 9-year TV deal with CBS, NBC

Tim Finchem during The Players Championship.

Tim Finchem during The Players Championship.

NORTON, Mass. – Long-term stability and the expectation for growth during the next decade. In this economy, that sounds like an enviable business plan.

The PGA Tour has extended its TV contract with CBS and NBC through 2021, Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced Thursday during a news conference at TPC Boston, site of this weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship.

The Tour’s current contract expires after 2012, so the new agreement secures broadcast rights for the next 10 years, coinciding with the remaining years on the Tour’s 15-year cable TV deal with Golf Channel.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, in keeping with Tour policy.

“Over the last five years, the quality of our television partners, CBS, NBC and the Golf Channel, and their performance both in the quality of the product and their performance in the marketplace has been a home run for our players, our tournaments, our sponsors and our charities,” Finchem said in a statement. “So we are absolutely delighted to announce these new long-term agreements with two terrific broadcast partners in CBS and NBC, which secure our television rights for the next decade. Our partnership with all our broadcast partners will provide continuity for our fans throughout the regular season and playoffs.”

There are few changes to the schedules for both networks. CBS will continue to broadcast the same 20 tournaments a year, while NBC will air about 10.

Players were informed of the deal via video email from the Tour.

"Just the stability of it all is wonderful," Jim Furyk said.

Finchem told Golfweek that he expects prize money will continue to increase, albeit modestly in comparison with the surge of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"I think we're going to be very comfortable with our growth," he said. "It's not just a question of generating more dollars and just growing purses. We also have to invest in some areas to support the long‑term value of the Tour to all the stakeholders."

With the new deals, tournaments will be simulcast live on PGATour.com, CBSsports.com, NBCSports.com and GolfChannel.com

Also, viewers will be able to see special coverage from marquee holes, competition highlights and regular news updates at some tournaments.

Golf Channel, which like NBC is owned by Comcast, will continue to open the season with four-round coverage of the first three tournaments. The cable channel also will provide exclusive early-round coverage of the tournaments televised by CBS and NBC, and provide four-round coverage of alternate events and the Fall Series. In addition, Golf Channel will have rights to expand its lead-in coverage and replays for every event televised by CBS and NBC.

- Alex Miceli contributed

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