Only a few days ago, Sky made the big announcement that they will be having a “Golf” only channel. Cue the fanfare as the subscription-only channel stood as the saviour of televised golf. However, all is not what it seems.
Sky Sports has just lost the rights for golf’s fourth Major Championship, the US PGA Championship. Great timing or what. Following the end of a decade-long contract for the exclusive rights to the Championship, the PGA of America has decided not to renew the contract.
Instead, the PGA of America is looking at new methods of media models for the Championship. The details are still rather sketchy but this could involve more internet streaming, access to social media or other methods.
“We had a good partnership with Sky but the 2017 US PGA Championship will not be on Sky,” said the PGA of America’s chief commercial officer, Jeff Price. “It was a multi-year deal that was up. Ultimately one of the key things for us is scale of distribution and obviously with all the new platforms that consumers are engaging with, we want to make sure we reach all of them.”
The desire by Jeff Price to reach as many golf fans as possible is completely understandable. For a start, Sky has limited appeal considering the price tag that accompanies it. Then there is the stigma of the fourth Major Championship. It simply does not have the same clout as The Masters, US Open or The Open. By becoming revolutionary in its media distribution then it could help to elevate the status of the Championship.
Perhaps this could be the future of how we consume our game.