NBC reacquires USGA broadcast rights post Fox’s departure

The USGA has announced that it has transferred the broadcast rights for its championships from Fox Sports to NBC.

As per the new agreement, NBC/Golf Channel will now have four-round coverage of the final two majors of the year. Also the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but NBC will assume the remainder of the contract, through at least 2026.

NBC televised the U.S. Open from 1995 through 2014 before Fox won the rights with a 12-year deal that was reportedly worth about $1 billion.

NBC will now broadcast four USGA championships this year: the U.S. Women’s Amateur (Aug. 3-9), U.S. Amateur (Aug. 10-16), U.S. Open (Sept. 17-20) and U.S. Women’s Open (Dec. 10-13). Beginning in 2021, eight of the USGA’s televised championships will be shown completely uninterrupted, including the U.S. Women’s Open and Walker Cup. The U.S. Open will be commercial-free for the last hour of the final round.

The addition of the USGA championships means that NBC and its properties now own the broadcast rights to the U.S. Open, Open Championship, Players Championship and Ryder Cup, as well as long-term partnerships with the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA, PGA Tour Champions, Korn Ferry Tour and NCAA.

USGA chief executive Mike Davis said: “Partnering with NBCUniversal, including Golf Channel, gives us an unparalleled opportunity to connect and engage with the core golf audience more directly and routinely, and as a non-profit, to continue to have a significant and lasting impact on the game,”

NBC Sports president Pete Bevacqua said: “Adding these prestigious USGA events to our already incredibly deep golf business, led by our long-term PGA Tour partnership, as well as The Open Championship and Ryder Cup, positions us as absolute leaders in the golf space. This deal is advantageous for all parties, including NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Peacock and the USGA, but also Fox Sports, and we thank them for working with us to complete this transaction.”

“Recent events calling for the shift of the U.S. Open created scheduling challenges that were difficult to overcome,” said Fox Sports CEO and executive producer Eric Shanks. “While we are proud of the success we’ve built over these years, this is a win for golf fans everywhere, a win for the USGA and a win for Fox and NBC Sports.”


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