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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:00 am

ESPN joins CBS in new PGA deal

DOUG FERGUSON | Associated Press

The PGA Championship will remain with CBS Sports and pick up a powerful partner in ESPN for weekday rounds as part of an 11-year agreement in which the networks will combine to deliver 175 hours of coverage across broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

Financial terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed, though it was clear the PGA Championship is more attractive held in May than in August.

The agreement gives CBS and ESPN, which broadcast the Masters, the first two majors of the year.

“I can tell you from our standpoint, the property was more valuable in May than in August,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. “We are paying a rights fee increase. It was definitely a more attractive package.”

McManus said the number of households watching on TV is higher in May, and he spoke of a “halo effect” in broadcasting the next major after the Masters, which is the highest-rated golf telecast of the year.

The PGA Championship had been held in August for the better part of 50 years. It moves next year to May as part of a restructured schedule that allows the PGA Tour to conclude its FedEx Cup on Aug. 25, a week before the start of football.

When the CBS-ESPN deal begins in 2020, the PGA Championship will be at Harding Park in San Francisco.

CBS first broadcast the PGA Championship from 1958 through 1964, and continuously since 1991. The network will continue to provide weekend coverage, adding an extra hour Saturday and Sunday under the new deal.

“Premium content such as the PGA represents the past, present and future of CBS,” said Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS Corp. “There is nothing like live sports programming to attract a mass audience and drive our business.”

Still be determined is a broadcast schedule for ESPN, which replaces Turner Sports.