Fox Gets Left Out as PGA Signs Four-Year TV Deal
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced a new four-year television package that begins in 1999 and involves CBS, ABC and NBC but not the Fox network.
Finchem said Fox tried to get involved in golf, but it was not possible because of its commitments to hockey and baseball. Fox apparently was unable to commit to televising tournaments to their conclusion.
Fox still has a significant foot in the door through its partial ownership of the Golf Channel. The Golf Channel and the cable Fox Sports Net, which includes Fox Sports West, will share in coverage of the first and second rounds of 10 PGA Tour events.
Finchem did not disclose financial arrangements of the new contracts, but it is believed that yearly television revenue will be about $200 million by 2002. Television provided $95.6 million last year.
Finchem said the average amount of prize money per PGA Tour event could be $3.4 million by 2002. The current average is $1.7 million.