PGA Golf Tournament Reaches 11-Year Deal With CBS and ESPN

(Bloomberg) -- The PGA of America tournament, one of golf’s majors, reached an 11-year deal with ESPN and CBS Corp., showing that networks continue to believe in the value of live sports programming.

Key Insights

  • AT&T Inc.’s Turner Sports, which previously carried early rounds of the tournament, is giving way to ESPN.
  • The return of Tiger Woods, who recently won his first tournament in years, has helped stoke golf ratings.
  • Broadcasters view live sports as a bulwark against the loss of viewers to online media.
  • ESPN+ is a key plank in Walt Disney Co.’s plans to serve viewers directly through online services.

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  • ESPN and the new ESPN+ will get exclusive live first- and second-round coverage and more airtime during the later rounds.
  • CBS will get exclusive later-day third- and fourth-round coverage.
  • Financial terms weren’t given for the deal, which starts in May 2020.
  • The tournament will move from August to May, beginning in 2019.
  • ESPN has spent heavily to secure rights to boxing, mixed martial arts and other sports to build out the lineup of ESPN+.

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