Fox Sports Takes Golf's U.S. Open from ESPN, NBC with 12-Year Deal
Fox Sports has taken golf's U.S. Open rights from NBC and ESPN just over a week before Fox Sports 1 launches to compete against ESPN.
The network, which will debut its all-sports Fox Sports 1 on August 17, announced on Wednesday that it has signed a 12-year agreement with the U.S. Open that will begin in 2015.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) and Fox Sports made the announcement nearly a week before Fox Sports 1's debut and on the eve of the PGA Championship. Fox Sports 1 will challenge ESPN. Under the current agreement, ESPN airs the first two rounds of the U.S. Open.
“It’s with tremendous excitement and pride that we’ve added events with the prestige and magnitude of the USGA’s U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open to the big events FOX Sports is set to cover for years to come,” said FOX Sports Co-President and COO, Randy Freer, in a statement.
USGA President Glen Nager said, "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.
“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," he said. "This partnership will help us to better lead and serve the game in new and exciting ways.”
An ESPN spokesman released a statement: “We’ve had a rewarding relationship with the USGA. We look forward to televising the U.S. Open and other USGA championship events in 2014 and wish them the best in the future.”