Fox Shocks: USGA Signs Rights Deal With Fox Sports That Includes U.S. Open
In a stunning move, Fox Sports signed a comprehensive multimedia-rights agreement with the USGA, acquiring the rights to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, and U.S. Senior Open Championships.
The deal, which begins in 2015, is a 12-year agreement that runs through 2026 and brings a golf major championship to Fox for the first time in the network’s history.
In the process, Fox wrestles the U.S. Open away from NBC Sports, which has carried the tournament since 1995. The 2014 U.S. Open will be NBC’s 20th broadcast of the event and its last one for the foreseeable future. The agreement also means that ESPN will no longer supply coverage of the first two rounds of the U.S. Open.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
“This is an exciting and remarkable day for the USGA, as our partnership with Fox Sports is a game-changer for our organization and for the game of golf,” said USGA President Glen D. Nager. “The game is evolving and requires bold and unique approaches on many levels, and Fox shares our vision to seek fresh thinking and innovative ideas to deliver championship golf. This partnership will help us to better lead and serve the game in new and exciting ways.”
In addition to the rights to the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, and U.S. Senior Open Championships, Fox Sports will also be home to the USGA’s national amateur championships, which had been the centerpiece of the NBC-owned Golf Channel’s live programming.
The USGA noted that Fox Sports’ commitment to forward-thinking video-production technology is an exciting factor in this new deal.
“We are thrilled with the commitment that Fox Sports has made to the USGA, our national championships, the strategic growth of our organization, and to the game,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “This partnership represents a promising new future for both organizations that will be marked by broadcast innovation, new approaches, and fresh thinking. We could not be more energized by what we will be able to accomplish together to make golf better, both now and for future generations of players and fans who love the game.”
The Official Word From Fox
The USGA’s new partnership with Fox Sports also contains strategic elements to help the USGA strengthen its support of the game, including:
- Integrating Fox Sport’s wide array of multiplatform assets, including its soon-to-launch mobile app FOX Sports GO, and innovative production capabilities to establish the U.S. Open Championship as the world’s best golf telecast
- Elevating the visibility of the USGA’s amateur championships and delivering unique storytelling to celebrate the amateur game
- Transforming U.S. Open Week into a powerful showcase and entertaining celebration of the game of golf
- Developing unique initiatives to enhance the USGA member experience and help grow the association’s membership community
- Providing significant promotional support to showcase and advance the USGA’s core services to the game, including the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, Equipment Standards, Handicapping, the USGA Green Section, and the USGA Museum.