03/10/20: The PGA TOUR locked in media rights through 2030



Tuesday March 10, 2020

A historic day for the PGA TOUR, which locked in its new nine-year domestic media rights portfolio for 2022-2030. CBS and NBC will maintain weekend coverage of most FedExCup tournaments, with CBS averaging 19 events and NBC eight events each season through the life of the agreements. Under the new schedule, one network will televise all three FedExCup Playoffs events each year, starting with NBC in 2022 and generally alternating with CBS. NBC Sports Group also will continue as the TOUR’s cable partner, with GOLF Channel providing all early-round coverage and early weekend coverage of every FedExCup event each season, along with PGA TOUR Champions and the Korn Ferry Tour. Meanwhile, the PGA TOUR assumes responsibility of the onsite production area and technical infrastructure each week.

For the first time, the TOUR’s digital rights were negotiated concurrently with its linear offering and will have a new, direct-to-consumer home on ESPN+. As a result of the new agreement, PGA TOUR LIVE – the TOUR’s subscription video service that was launched in 2015 – will live exclusively on ESPN+ beginning in 2022 and will be expanded to include multiple live content channels nearly every week of the FedExCup season.

As part of its Strategic Alliance with the LPGA, the PGA TOUR also successfully negotiated rights agreements that will see the LPGA Tour continue as anchor programming on GOLF Channel, along with expanded exposure for LPGA Tour events on NBC and CBS each year. As part of the agreement, the LPGA maintains control of all of its media rights outside the United States and receives expanded digital content rights.

“Following a comprehensive process of studying the market, talking to all interested parties and analyzing our various options, we’re excited to announce that we have entered into new agreements with our existing partners ViacomCBS and Comcast/NBC Sports Group, while establishing a new long-term relationship with Disney and ESPN+,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We were extremely pleased with the interest we received from the market – both with incumbents and other media companies – and are excited that our current partners shared our vision for the future, and we are equally excited to be back in business with Disney and ESPN+. These new deals will be a major win for our fans, bringing an elevated commitment from all three partners to help us expand and innovate our content and its delivery.”


MLB, MLS, the NBA and the NHL issued the following joint statement: “After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment.”

Concerns over the coronavirus have also caused the 2020 BNP Paribas Open to be postponed. “First and foremost, there isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers and fans who attend our events,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “Based on the medical advice received on March 8, it is with regret that the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not be held as scheduled this March. The WTA empathizes with those affected by the coronavirus in this region and around the world. We are disappointed our fans will not be able to come out and watch the event, and our players are also disappointed to not compete over the next two weeks, along with the sponsors who support the event. However, we understand the decision which has been made in the interest of public health and safety which is the top priority at this time. It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first.”

NCAA March Madness Live is returning in 2020 to offer a slate of new features for this year’s tournament. Enhancements are highlighted by a new Multigame viewing option on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV devices, The Catch-Up video content powered by AT&T TV and the returning fan favorite Fast Break presented by AT&T TV and Nissan. Fan-favorite features will return including “close game alerts” for big moments, live game scoring, real-time editorial content and direct access to live radio broadcasts, courtesy of Westwood One, for all 67 games. Tri-presenting sponsors for NCAA March Madness Live are NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola. On mobile, Coca-Cola, Capital One and Buick will sponsor the NCAA March Madness Live App for iOS; AT&T, Capital One and Nissan will sponsor the Android app. On connected streaming devices: Capital One and AT&T will sponsor the Roku app; AT&T will serve as a sponsor for the Apple TV app; Acura and AT&T TV will sponsor the Amazon Fire TV app; and, AT&T, Coca-Cola and POWERADE will sponsor the Xbox app.

Tom Brady is reportedly launching a Hollywood production company that will develop original documentaries, feature films, and TV shows, according to Deadline. The company, titled 199 Productions, already has a number of projects on the development slate including the documentary Unseen Football, described as a “fast-paced, incandescent big-screen 3D adventure documentary,” and feature Brady examining plays from the NFL, college, and high school levels.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. will be partnering with iHeartMedia courtesy of a multi-year agreement that will see the pair establish a strategic partnership under which the parties will collaborate on the co-production of original programming and on the marketing of Anthem’s properties across iHeartMedia’s multi-platform audio network. “It’s an exciting time for Anthem as they continue to expand their reach” said Peter Volynsky, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Ventures for iHeartMedia. “We are looking forward to collaborating with the Anthem team, offering even more unique and compelling content to our audiences, while also helping them build further awareness and grow their brand through our massive scale and national reach across our powerful multi-platform assets.”

The XFL locked in Bonnie Bernstein and Bernstein’s Walk Swiftly Productions to create a season-long digital content series titled “For the Love of Football,” the debuted yesterday, embodying “everything that is the XFL: the passion of its fans, the personal stories behind what fuels its players, the strong football cultures in team markets and the unique elements that make the XFL a fan-first league.” Bernstein, as host, takes XFL fans to St. Louis in the first episode.

The third annual all-female production of NHL Now will air today, live at 4p with NHL Network’s Jamie Hersch and Jackie Redmond joined by Team USA goalie and guest analyst Alex Cavallini. Appearances from special guests, including NBCSN’s Kathryn Tappen before the Bruins-Flyers game, two-time Olympic Gold medalist Cheryl Pounder, the first female skating coach in the NHL Barbara Williams, Predators reporter Lyndsay Rowley and Maple Leafs reporter Kristen Shilton will air throughout.

Insight TV Studios US partnered with VICE Studios to co-produce a three-part documentary series focused on the participants of the upcoming 2020 Invictus Games, a multi-sport event for veterans that was founded by Prince Harry. I am Invincible, which is being filmed entirely in 4K UHD HDR, is slated to premiere April 18.

The 2020 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off Wednesday with Pac-12 Networks set to be on-site in Las Vegas to provide exclusive coverage of all 12 teams. Pac-12 Networks will televise 8 of the 11 Tournament contests, including all four first-round games, which begin this Wednesday with play-by-play announcers Ted Robinson and Roxy Bernstein, analysts Bill Walton and Don MacLean and sideline reporters Lewis Johnson, Ashley Adamson and Kate Scott. Comprehensive wraparound coverage live on site will be anchored by host Mike Yam and analysts Matt Muehlebach, Earl Watson and Richard Jefferson.


In addition to categories that celebrate individual Top Women in Media, Cynopsis is recognizing distinguished companies who champion women in media. These are the companies who strive for equal opportunity, inclusion, pay parity and women in leadership position.

(sponsored by Turnkey Search)

MLB toasted a new deal with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines, a multi-year sponsorship agreement naming Woodbridge Wines as the Official Wine of MLB. The number-three glass wine brand in the United States will support the partnership nationally and regionally through MLB Club partnerships with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds, and a 360-marketing plan, and will introduce packaging featuring MLB marks on select Woodbridge Wines in 2021. On a national scale, Woodbridge Wines will promote new creative for its “From One For All” campaign with TV advertisements running during MLB games on MLB Network, ESPN and other national broadcast partners.

Mars, Incorporated and WWE are expanding their long-standing partnership for 2020 with Snickers once again serving as the exclusive presenting partner of WrestleMania. The partnership marks the brand’s fifth consecutive year as presenting sponsor of WrestleMania, which takes place April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The expanded partnership will include three pieces of custom creative, featuring WWE Superstars promoting the new Snickers “Fix the World” campaign. The partnership includes Snickers brand presence at WrestleMania Axxess plus custom digital and social content sponsorships on WWE.com and WWE’s YouTube channel. WWE’s expanded partnership with Mars will also highlight Skittles as the presenting partner of WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event in October 2020.

Art of Sport, a body care brand for athletes, launched its first commercial campaign with national spots featuring pro-athletes and Art of Sport ambassadors James Harden and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Spots will air on television networks nationwide with a focus on live sport networks. In addition to the television ads, Art of Sport has launched museumofathleteskincare.org. with content expanding on the TV commercial.


fuboTV announced the additions of NHL Network, MLB Network and MLB Network Strike Zone to its lineup. Starting today, new fuboTV subscribers can receive NHL Network when they subscribe to either the fubo Extra or Sports Plus packages. In the coming weeks, MLB Network will be added to both packages, and MLB Network Strike Zone will be available in the Sports Plus package.

Illinois joined list of legal sports betting jurisdictions with the launch of BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Estimates are that if the Illinois market fully matures, the state could generate from $9 billion to $11 billion in wagers annually and $650 million in operator gross revenue, according to projections from PlayIllinois.com. “Illinois’ potential is enormous, but it has a long way to go to become a major player relative to the largest markets in the U.S.,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayIllinois.com. “Launching the industry is obviously a momentous first step. But because of regulatory roadblocks to online sports betting, it will be years before Illinois can enjoy the same kind of boom that we’ve seen in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.”


Epic Games is starting to shore up its esports events for 2020, first announced that the Fortnite Champion Series will be returning with a Duos tournament starting March 20. “In this season of FNCS, there will be two tournament tracks: one for players on PC, and one for players on console and mobile,” the company announced on its site. “Each track will have equal prizing and their own champions. Keep in mind, and this is mission critical, your Duos partner needs to be in the same platform group. This means that PC players cannot partner with console and mobile players.” Top scoring Duos per server region will then move through to the Season Finals.

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard is gassing up its own take on the battle royale genre, announcing that Call of Duty: Warzone will be available to play starting today. The “new and massive combat experience” will allow up to 150 players in a free-to-play experience. The game features two modes and is based in Verdansk, described as “an expansive city with multiple named zones and well over 300 points of interest. Each zone features distinct landmarks like the Gorengard Lumber Yard or the Gora Dam; the zones take place across different environment types like cities and rural areas for unique engagements.”


Bruins/Flyers on NBCSN at 7p.

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On This Day
1985: Maverick coach Dick Motta becomes the fourth NBA coach to win 700 games.

In the Know
Dick Motta won an NBA Championship as coach for what team? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which MLB manager holds the career record for most ejections? Answer: Bobby Cox. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Scott Savran-Scout 360/NY; Brian Reich-Casual.Fans/NY; Evan Noonan-ViacomCBS Digital/NY; Art Salisch-Nielsen/NY; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta; Sonia Durr-Carat USA/Atlanta; Allison Lerer-Intel Sports/Atlanta; Bill Graff-beIN SPORTS/Miami; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside; Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/Playa del Rey; Buzz Felinni/Las Vegas Anne Wettig-FOX/FOX Sports S&P/LA

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