TNT Renews Rights for PGA Championship

After losing the rights to the Open Championship to ESPN last year, TNT has ensured it will hold onto the last major tournament on the golf calendar, the PGA Championship through 2019. That’s a long time. And the Cartoon Network gets a role in marketing the tournament to children. Check out the press release from the fine people at Turner Sports.


Turner’s Cartoon Network Enterprises Named Youth Licensing Agent To Focus on PGA’s Presence Among Youth Fans

The PGA of America and Turner Sports have extended their broadcasting and interactive media agreements covering the PGA Championship, PGA Grand Slam of Golf and through 2019. The new agreement between the two organizations will also expand to include licensing, with Turner’s Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) serving as the PGA’s licensing agent in the youth marketplace. In addition, Turner and the PGA will collaborate on a number of new media and consumer marketing initiatives to increase awareness and brand recognition of The PGA of America among key audiences, as well as introduce new, younger audiences to learning, playing and following the game.

For each PGA Championship, TNT will continue to provide comprehensive television coverage for the Thursday and Friday rounds, as well as early coverage for the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Turner will also provide complete coverage of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which is the hardest event to qualify for in the game. Additionally, Turner will continue its management of, the official Web site of the PGA of America.

CNE, in its new role as licensing agent, will use its strengths to create an extensive consumer product and retail program for the PGA with the youth marketplace through a range of licensing agreements and co-branding partnerships across all product categories. This new product line will increase the PGA’s presence with the next generation of fans and also broaden the PGA’s scope of retail offerings.

“The PGA of America, Turner Sports and Time Warner have been longtime partners in presenting stateoftheart digital media coverage of the best in championship golf to millions of fans, elevating the stature of our more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals,” said PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. “While Turner will continue to showcase the PGA’s tradition of dramatic championships, we’re especially excited about new initiatives in the company’s licensing division and the creation of social media platforms that will help us make the game relevant and interesting to the next generation of golfers.”

“Turner’s partnership with The PGA of America reflects our continuing strategy to provide the most compelling television sports content, as well as managing the best digital content. Our expanded relationship will create opportunities to better serve golf fans around the world,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “This expanded partnership takes advantage of Turner’s expertise in licensing, digital media and event marketing. Our broader relationship should provide growth and create new opportunities to enhance the PGA brand.”

The partnership extension also features:

  • Turner’s continued oversight and responsibility of advertising sales for and new mobile offerings and applications;

  • Turner will create actionable media and marketing that extends the PGA of America brand at the regional and local level and builds “conversations” with consumers through media and promotions that enhance PGA Professionals, golf and the Association as contemporary to young families and young adults;

  • Development of an enhanced community where users will be able to connect with friends, family, other golfers and PGA Professionals to organize a round, schedule a lesson, track their playing statistics and plan their next golf vacation;

  • Exploration of a virtual learning experience where users would be able to interact with a PGA Professional online to receive game tips, analysis and feedback.

Examples of recent new media innovations by The PGA of America and Turner Sports:

  • First major golf event to have live hosted coverage during the broadcast window (2003) and first major golf event to have live hosted coverage available all four days (2004);

  • First golf event to be available across five platforms – TV, Web, video-on-demand, mobile and Podcast (2005);

  • First golf event to offer multiple live video streams – Pipeline (2006; nominated for an Emmy in 2007) – and first major golf event to use Turner’s Mosaic video player with multiple simultaneous video streams (2008);

  • Development of the innovative Value Guide, the national standard for used golf club valuation, and the PGA Trade-In Network. Together, these two programs have made it possible for golfers to find the value of their golf clubs, trade them in at over 6,000 PGA Professional-staffed facilities and use the value toward the purchase of new equipment.

CBS currently has third and final round coverage and I’m sure it will do all it can to retain those rights.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.