The PGA Championship has a new date on the calendar. It will soon have, in part, a new broadcast home as well.
On Wednesday, the PGA of America announced an 11-year multimedia deal with CBS and ESPN for television, digital and OTT rights to the PGA Championship beginning in 2020.
“For nearly a half-century, CBS Sports has been a vital member of the PGA of America extended family while delivering our major championship to golf fans across the country,” said PGA chief executive officer Seth Waugh in a statement. “We are also thrilled to partner with ESPN and connect with sports fans through the reach of the ESPN networks. The PGA is a major that not only typically delivers the strongest field in golf, but is synonymous with historic moments that resonate with golf fans everywhere. As we move this iconic championship to May, we are extremely excited that CBS and ESPN will present the highest-quality product with the state-of-the-art technology through a broadcast team that shares our mission to grow the sport of golf.”
CBS, which has been home to weekend coverage of the PGA since 1991 (and prior to that from 1958-1964) will continue to broadcast the third and fourth rounds, adding an additional hour of airtime each day.
"Retaining these rights was a top priority for us this year, and we are excited to have it continue as a cornerstone of our schedule for 11 more years," said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. "Together with ESPN, we look forward to greatly expanding the coverage of this great championship. The move to May will greatly benefit CBS, our viewers and the golf marketplace.”
For its part, ESPN will have live action on all four days of the tournament, as well as pre-tournament and other ancillary coverage. ESPN will have exclusive coverage on Thursday and Friday, with early round action on the weekends on ESPN, and ESPN+ showing featured groups and holes later in the day.
“ESPN is proud to work together with the PGA of America and CBS to provide fans with unprecedented coverage of this prestigious event,” said ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro. “The addition of ESPN+ provides us the opportunity to go even deeper in showcasing the drama and excitement of The PGA for years to come.”
The move is a welcome one to golf fans, as TNT, one of the current broadcast partners, has come under fire for its lack of coverage and underwhelming presentation of the event. TNT will still broadcast the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.