USGA, ESPN Extend Agreement Through 2014
March 1, 2007
Far Hills, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association and ESPN have agreed on an eight-year contract extension through 2014, it was announced today by George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc., and ABC Sports and Walter Driver Jr., USGA President.
ESPN, which has televised USGA championships since 1982, will remain the exclusive cable partner of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. The terms of the agreement also give ESPN extensive global multimedia rights, including increased exposure through ESPN International and new media offerings.
"We're thrilled to remain the home of USGA championships," said Bodenheimer. "The USGA has long embraced our multimedia approach which will continue to provide compelling content to golf fans and present opportunities to expand the audience of the sport."
"We have enjoyed a long and excellent relationship with ESPN," said Driver. "We are pleased that ESPN continues to value distributing our national golf championships. We consider ESPN part of the USGA family."
ESPN will continue to televise live championship action as well as preview and highlight shows. For the 2007 season, ESPN will televise 14 hours of the U.S. Open and a combined eight hours of the U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. ESPN also will hold comprehensive rights to USGA highlight films and footage both for television and new media, including ESPN.com, ESPN360, ESPNDeportes.com and ESPN VOD.
New media elements include the right to stream content on ESPN360 and ESPN-branded mobile content packages, such as interactive television offerings of championship coverage on Thursday and Friday (including multimedia camera angles and real-time data feed, etc.). ESPN International coverage has added expanded rights in Africa to its continuing coverage rights in Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East.
ESPN.com will continue to provide USGA editorial content, scoring and streaming video. In 2007, ESPN.com and USGA.org will continue their Webcast coverage during Thursday and Friday rounds. ESPN.com also will offer extensive highlights of championship leaders, as well as press conferences and expert analysis throughout the weekend.
ESPN Classic will provide domestic USGA coverage and highlights with an option for providing re-airs of all championship rounds and rights to televise the championships in Europe (excluding the United Kingdom).
The USGA is golf's governing body in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the game's golfers and golf courses.
The organization's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. The other 10 national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, maintains an official Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $53 million over 10 years to programs that seek to grow the game. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org .
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU).
Other entities are ESPN and ESPN2 HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks, syndication, radio, Web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine , ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and new businesses of ESPN360 (Broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN on Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV.
Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.