PGA Tour Exploring Launching Their Own Channel

The Sports Business Journal reports that the PGA Tour is considering launching a new television channel. CBS and NBC retain the rights to the PGA Tour through 2021, but both deals allow the tour to modify some of the terms or end it early in 2018.

Tour executives have spoken to FOX, ESPN, and Turner in recent weeks to gauge their interest in bidding for their rights or working together to create a new channel. The tour has an agreement in place with the Golf Channel too, but that deal runs through 2021 and contains no out clause.

If the PGA Tour elects to launch its own television channel, it would need to figure out a way to adjust its arrangement with the Golf Channel. All interested parties believe that’s a necessary component to making any type of deal. If that agreement can’t be modified, the tour would likely have to wait until 2021 when the deal officially expires.

One other situation that remains complex is distribution. If the PGA Tour were to attempt to take rights away from the Golf Channel, in order to launch their own channel, they’d then have to convince the Golf Channel’s owner, Comcast, to carry the new channel. Comcast is the United States’ largest cable operator, and unlikely to help an organization which is hurting their business to satisfy its own desires.

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