Turner Sports Declines To Extend TV Rights With The R&A For The Open
Turner’s seven-year deal with the R&A, golf’s world rules and development body and organizer of The Open Championship, will culminate with TNT’s coverage of the 2009 British Open Championship from Turnberry, Scotland, July 16-19.
“We are disciplined in our approach to negotiating programming rights,” David Levy, president of Turner Sports, said in a statement. “While we were unable to reach terms on future rights that made economic sense for our company, we respect and value the R&A and our partnership of the past six years, and look forward to TNT’s final year of covering The Open.”
Turner Sports will air approximately 28 hours of the 2009 Open Championship on TNT during its four days of coverage. TNT will also continue to air approximately 17 hours of golf’s final major, the PGA Championship, with this year’s event taking place Aug. 12-16 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN.
TNT will also air in 2009 the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the toughest event in the sport to qualify for, with only that year’s major winners receiving an automatic invitation. The 2009 PGA Grand Slam of Golf will be held Oct. 20 and 21 at the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda.
ESPN will step in and carry all four rounds at a price tag of about $25 million per year, making the event the first major golf tournament to be carried solely on cable.