It promises to be an interesting few weeks in the world of media after it was revealed yesterday that Sky TV’s rights to broadcast the USPGA Tournament at Quail Hollow next month have not been renewed.
Sky will be the exclusive broadcaster in the UK for the Open Championship which gets underway next week but the ending of the relationship with the USPGA will be a real blow with a new specific Golf channel launching next week as part of an overall revamp of the channels Sports offering.
Three years ago Sky signed a long term extension with the PGA Tour which will see the same level of coverage for the weekly US golf tournaments run through to 2021.
Speaking at the time Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said “Sky is the preeminent sports network in the United Kingdom and has been a valued broadcast partner of the PGA Tour.”
“The Tour and Sky strongly believe in the value of our existing relationship and are excited about the future, a future that includes compelling new content that is tailor-made for tournament telecasts in the U.K.”
In a world of sports broadcasting though, the future is on an increasingly short horizon the question now arises as to where the fourth major will be viewable on this side of the Atlantic.
There were hints and suggestions yesterday that this could be through a new platform, possibly via the PGA Tour’s own web streaming service or possibly through extended coverage on a social media channel like Twitter which already shows live content from the Tour.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper PGA Chief Commercial officer Jeff Price said “Broad, multi-platform distribution is the key objective for us. I’m not in a position yet to share all the details but we want the ability to engage golf fans of all ages across all platforms.”
“We want the broadest distribution we can possibly have and are very excited about the plan we have in place.”
Whether that will be in place only four weeks from now will be a question that many golf fans and watchers of the media landscape will be watching carefully.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.